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Biden said he would "work to pass and sign into law" such legislation but acknowledged the reality that the conditions are not right with today's evenly divided Senate between his Democrats and Republicans.

"At the federal level, we will need more pro-choice senators and a pro-choice majority in the House to adopt legislation" that codifies the existing guarantees apparently set to be removed by the Supreme Court.

With many US states already enacting or preparing highly restrictive abortion laws, Biden said he had ordered advisors to study "a variety of possible outcomes in the cases pending before the Supreme Court. We will be ready when any ruling is issued."

"I believe that a woman's right to choose is fundamental," Biden said, referring to the landmark 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v Wade that declared abortion a constitutionally protected right -- and which is now apparently set to be overturned.

"Roe has been the law of the land for almost fifty years, and basic fairness and the stability of our law demand that it not be overturned," Biden said.

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