The issue of abortion gained national attention this week after a leaked draft showed the Supreme Court could soon move to strike-down Roe V Wade, a move then-Senator Joe Biden supported back in 1981.
From the NY Times:
It was a new era in Washington in 1981, and abortion rights activists were terrified.
With an anti-abortion president, Ronald Reagan, in power and Republicans controlling the Senate for the first time in decades, social conservatives pushed for a constitutional amendment to allow individual states to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court ruling that had made abortion legal nationwide several years earlier.
The amendment — which the National Abortion Rights Action League called “the most devastating attack yet on abortion rights” — cleared a key hurdle in the Senate Judiciary Committee in March 1982. Support came not only from Republicans but from a 39-year-old, second-term Democrat: Joseph R. Biden Jr.
“I’m probably a victim, or a product, however you want to phrase it, of my background,” Mr. Biden, a Roman Catholic, said at the time. The decision, he said, was “the single most difficult vote I’ve cast as a U.S. senator.”
Read the full report here.