Joe Biden and Kamala Harris Vow to Fight for Abortion Rights on 49th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with Vice President Kamala Harris
U.S. President Joe Biden shakes hands with Vice President Kamala Harris

Dustin Chambers/Bloomberg via Getty Images

On the 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are making a call to action as several states try to implement restrictive abortion laws amid court challenges.

Biden, 79, shared a statement on Twitter Saturday to mark the landmark Supreme Court decision of 1973 that granted women the right to an abortion in every state.

"The constitutional right established in Roe v. Wade 49 years ago today is under assault as never before," Biden wrote. "We must recommit to strengthening access to reproductive care, defending the right established by Roe, and protecting the freedom of all people to build their own future."

RELATED: With Roe vs. Wade in Danger, These True Stories from Women About Their Abortions Are More Powerful Than Ever

Harris, 57, also shared a video message on Twitter, vowing to fight "to protect a woman's right to choose."

"Roe v. Wade advanced women's equality and that case saved women's lives," she said, adding, "The proponents of overturning Roe have been clear. They want to take away that right in every state. We will fight to protect a woman's right to choose."

"The constitutional right of women to make decisions about their own bodies is not an abstract concept. It saves women's lives," Harris continued. "So, on this 49th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, let us recommit to doing everything we can to protect those constitutional rights."

RELATED: Supreme Court to Hear Arguments on Abortion Ban and Could Overturn Roe v. Wade

Over the weekend, Biden and Harris also issued a joint statement on the White House website reiterating their pledge to spearhead the right for women's reproductive rights.

"We are deeply committed to protecting access to health care, including reproductive health care—and to ensuring that this country is not pushed backwards on women's equality," the pair said.

The statement continued: "In recent years, we have seen efforts to restrict access to reproductive health care increase at an alarming rate. In Texas, Mississippi, and many other states around the country, access to reproductive health care is under attack. These state restrictions constrain the freedom of all women. And they are particularly devastating for those who have fewer options and fewer resources, such as those in underserved communities, including communities of color and many in rural areas."

According to the release, the administration is working to codify Roe v. Wade and is taking steps toward protecting access to abortion care throughout the nation via the Women's Health Protection Act.

RELATED VIDEO: Woman Whose Conception Sparked Roe v. Wade Case Breaks Silence: 'I'm Keeping a Secret but I Hate It'

"All people deserve access to reproductive health care regardless of their gender, income, race, zip code, health insurance status, immigration status, disability, or sexual orientation. And the continued defense of this constitutional right is essential to our health, safety, and progress as a nation," said Biden and Harris.

In 2021, a record 106 restrictions on abortions became law in the U.S.

In the past, states that tried to enact anti-abortion laws knew they would be struck down by state and federal courts following the precedent set by Roe v. Wade. But now, with six conservative justices on the Supreme Court — three added during Donald Trump's presidency — legalized abortions may no longer be the law of the land.

RELATED: Saturday Might Be the Last Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

"We've entered into a new, more restrictive phase in 2021 because we now have a solidly anti-abortion Supreme Court," Elizabeth Nash, state policy analyst at the Guttmacher Institute, a research group focused on abortion rights, previously told PEOPLE.

If Roe is overturned, "then I would expect in fairly short order we would start to see states, particularly the South, the Plains and Midwest, look to adopt abortion bans," Nash said. Twelve states, including Mississippi and Texas, have "trigger" laws in place that would automatically ban abortions if that happens.

"And that would make it very hard for a large percentage of women in the country to access abortion care in their own state. It means a lot more people would have to travel for care," Nash pointed out. "And the people who are most impacted by these abortion restrictions and bans are people of color, low-income individuals, young people and LGBTQ individuals — people who are already burdened with insufficient access to healthcare."

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