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Biden: Congress should protect abortion rights, if necessary

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks during a protest against abortion bans, Tuesday, May 21, 2019, outside the Supreme Court in Washington. A coalition of dozens of groups held a National Day of Action to Stop the Bans, with other events planned throughout the week. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

WASHINGTON — Joe Biden’s presidential campaign says he wants Congress to enshrine abortion rights into federal law “should it become necessary.”

Biden outlined his position after several of his 2020 Democratic rivals highlighted the issue.

Several senators running for president have answered a recent flood of state abortion restrictions with calls for a federal statute codifying abortion rights protections that now depend on the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade.

In an earlier campaign video Tuesday, Biden didn’t address the idea of congressional action. Instead, he said Roe is “the law of the land” and must be protected. Biden’s campaign later confirmed that he’d back legislation.

Biden’s position has evolved over his many decades in public life, and he often cites his Catholic faith that teaches abortion is morally wrong.

Bill Barrow And Elana Schor, The Associated Press