Biden calls abortion bans an 'assault on freedom' in State of the Union address - TAI News
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President Joe Biden made protecting abortion rights a focal point of his State of the Union address Thursday night, calling the restrictions and bans on abortion in effect in 21 states since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022 an assault on freedom. 

“In its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, the Supreme Court majority wrote the following, and with all due respect justices, ‘Women are not without electoral, electoral power’ — excuse me — ‘electoral or political power.’ You’re about to realize just how much you got right about that,” Biden said of the opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization that overturned Roe, which was handed down by the majority formed with the three justices former President Donald Trump appointed to the court.

Biden’s remarks on abortion came as the United States finds itself grappling with a new consequence of the fall of Roe: the potential abolishment of assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization.

Fertility clinics in Alabama temporarily halted IVF treatments in Alabama earlier this month after the Alabama Supreme Court ruled that fertilized embryos created during the IVF process are legally considered people in the state, fearing that they could face criminal penalties if they discarded embryos for any reason.

Biden invited Latorya Beasley, an Alabama woman whose IVF procedure was canceled, to the State of the Union address. He used her story to illustrate his call for Congress to guarantee the right to IVF nationwide. On Feb. 28, Senate Democrats tried to pass a bill that would have done so by unanimous consent, but it was blocked by Republican Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith of Mississippi.

“She was told her dream would have to wait,” Biden said of Beasley. “What her family got through should never have happened. Unless Congress acts, it could happen again, so tonight, let’s stand up for families like hers.”

Biden also invited Kate Cox, a Texas woman who was blocked from receiving an abortion in her state after her fetus was diagnosed with trisomy 18, a rare and almost always fatal genetic disorder. Infants born with trisomy 18 rarely live longer than one year and often die within two weeks of birth. Cox ultimately had to travel out of state to obtain an abortion after the Texas Supreme Court ruled that her pregnancy was not life-threatening and that an abortion would violate a state law that bans the procedure after fetal cardiac activity can be detected, which is often around six weeks’ gestation.

“What her family has gone through should never have happened as well. But it is happening to so many others,” Biden said in his speech. “There are state laws banning the right to choose, criminalizing doctors, and forcing survivors of rape and incest to leave their states as well to get the care they need. Many of you in this Chamber and my predecessor are promising to pass a national ban on reproductive freedom. My God, what freedom else would you take away?”

“If you, the American people, send me a Congress that supports the right to choose, I promise you, I will restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land again,” Biden said. 

“The stakes this November could not be higher for reproductive freedom, abortion access, and our democracy itself,” Mini Timmaraju, president and CEO of Reproductive Freedom for All, who attended the speech as Leader Hakeem Jeffries’ guest, said in a statement. “Every step of progress that we hope to make nationally depends on the reelection of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and delivering Democratic majorities in Congress.” 

A statement from Planned Parenthood Votes, an arm of the Planned Parenthood Action Network, a national political advocacy and reproductive rights organization, highlighted what the state of the country would be if Trump were reelected: “Ending access to abortion and sexual and reproductive health care is their ultimate goal as laid out in Project 2025, a plan for the presidency in the event of a ‘conservative’ victory.” 

“As an OB-GYN physician who is deeply committed to caring for women and their families, President Biden’s pledge to cap prescription drug prices, guarantee the right to IVF nationwide, and protect our reproductive freedoms addressed fundamental concerns I hear from my patients every day,” Dr. Kristin Lyerly, a physician who lives in Greenbay, Wisconsin, but practices in primarily in rural and underserved communities in Minnesota, said by email. 

She added, “As we celebrate International Women’s Day today, we know that our President will continue to fight for our basic needs because he recognizes and respects the power of women in America and explicitly honors our shared core values—honesty, decency, dignity, and equality—a trait that all of our electeds would be wise to embrace.”

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