Biden snubbed Reproductive Rights in the State of the Union
As abortion rights continue to be under dire attack nationwide, the President only spent 72 words on Reproductive Rights in his State of the Union.
“Congress must restore the right that was taken away in Roe v. Wade and protect Roe v. Wade. Give every woman [inaudible] right. The vice president and I are doing everything we can to protect access to reproductive health care and safeguard patient privacy. But already, more than a dozen states are enforcing extreme abortion bans. Make no mistake: If Congress passes a national ban, I will veto it.”
72 words - all the time abortion and reproductive rights got during Biden’s 7,300-word “State of the Union” speech. Apart from this, he covered what Democrats had achieved, what they still planned to achieve, and tricked heckling Republicans into a very public promise not to cut Social Security and Medicaid (which they won’t honor, but it was satisfying for a second) - a pretty run-of-the-mill State of the Union, topic-wise, apart from the barrage of insults Republicans were screaming at him.
But those 72 words were not sufficient. Democrats saw in the midterms that despite claims of pundits that people only cared about the economy (failing to see how access to reproductive rights is an economic topic for those who can become pregnant), access to abortion rights was a major motivator to get the vote out - which helped them to hold the senate, against historic precedent. Why not center this topic more in his speech?
The Biden White House was very slow to respond to the SCOTUS ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organisation last summer, and Biden himself, a devout Catholic, has famously been uncomfortable talking about abortion rights. And while he did address that in more than 12 states, strict abortion bans are already being enforced, he did not mention the press on the state level for even more and stricter abortion restrictions and bans, that abortion rights activists and experts have been yelling about.
He also did not explain that an abortion ban also means a threat to the life of a mother who very much wanted a baby, but suffered a miscarriage. That person, under abortion bans, would be in danger of bleeding out, before life-saving reproductive care could be administered, while a hospital panel has to decide her fate, even after it is already clear that the pregnancy cannot be saved.
Republicans, and prominent ones at that, are far from done. Mike Pence told someone at a book signing in Houston, Texas on Monday, that he thought abortion pills should be banned as well:
Man: Are you thinking about what to do about abortion pills? Would you like to ban those?
Pence: To me, it’s...I’m pro-life, and I think that’s a real issue and it’s really dangerous. Really dangerous.
Man: I think you can ban them though, don’t you think?
Pence: Uh you can, and we need to. We need to. My daughter’s written a lot about it, she writes for The Daily Wire.
Man: Oh she does?
Pence: Look up Charlotte Pence Bond, she’s done a lot of really important writing on that topic.
In Alabama, pregnant women have been kept in jail to “protect” their fetuses:
“The policy, previously reported by AL.com, kept Banks in the Etowah County Detention Center for three months while she endured severe vaginal bleeding and two emergency room visits that left her fearful for her high-risk pregnancy. A court-contracted substance abuse agency twice told her that she didn’t qualify for treatment because she wasn’t addicted to drugs, leaving her in limbo until a judge granted her release Aug. 25 on conditions that did not include drug treatment.”
A recent poll by Planned Parenthood showed how wide-spread the fear about losing access to reproductive rights is amongst Americans: