President Joe Biden promised to protect the right to safe abortions during the second State of the Union address of his presidency on Tuesday, February 7. During his speech, Biden spoke about how the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe V. Wade has been difficult for so many Americans, and he promised to fight if Republicans tried to pass a national ban on abortions. “It’s our duty to protect all the people’s rights and freedoms,” he said. “Congress must restore the right that was taken away in Roe V. Wade.”
"Make no mistake about it. If Congress passes a national ban, I will veto it," President Biden says on abortion. pic.twitter.com/eHXfCzBP4r
— NBC News (@NBCNews) February 8, 2023
Biden promised that he would do everything in his power he could to combat any potential national abortion bans. “The vice president and I are doing everything to protect access to reproductive health care and safeguard patients’ safety. While already more than a dozen states are enforcing extreme abortion bans, make no mistake about it—if Congress passes a national abortion ban, I will veto it,” he said.
When the Supreme Court overturned Roe V. Wade in June 2022, Biden was incredibly outspoken about it being a “tragic error,” and he promised to fight to protect the right to an abortion. “It’s a sad day for the country in my view,” he said at the time. “It’s a realization of an extreme ideology and a tragic error by the Supreme Court in my view. The court has done what it has never done before: expressly take away a constitutional right that is so fundamental to so many Americans that had already been recognized.”
Prior to the 2022 midterm elections, Biden had warned Americans that the right to an abortion was on the ballot and repeatedly called on Congress to codify Roe v. Wade into law, and he celebrated when voters in states like Kansas elected to protect abortion rights during a state level vote in August.
Biden’s speech comes about four months after the midterms. While Democrats did not hold onto the House, they did retain control of the Senate, and despite predictions of a “red wave,” only nine Democrat-held seats were lost during the election. In the lead-up to the midterms, Biden addressed the need to protect the right to an abortion as well as LGBTQ+ rights and much more.
Before the midterms, the president also stressed the importance to denounce extremism and election lies, often coming from the far-right. He called out former President Donald Trump, who announced that he’s running for president in 2024, and “MAGA extremism,” also referring to it as “semi-fascism” in a September speech at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. “As I stand here tonight, equality and democracy are under assault,” he said. “Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent an extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.” The House Select Committee, investigating the January 6 attack on the Capitol has also made criminal referrals to the Justice Department for Trump in regard to the attack.
Since Biden’s last State of the Union address, so much has happened over the course of the year. The Supreme Court overturned the landmark case Roe V. Wade in June, putting abortion rights across the country at risk. Once the SCOTUS decision was leaked, Biden (as well as many others) spoke out against the decision, and he has vowed to do everything in his power to make sure that the right to reproductive care is protected. “This decision must not be the final word. My administration will use all of its appropriate lawful power,” he said after the decision was finalized.
Ukraine’s war against Russia had just begun when Biden delivered his last State of the Union. Since the war began, the United States has sanctioned Russia and given aid to Ukraine. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has also visited the White House to discuss what else the U.S. can do to help. Not only that, WNBA player Brittney Griner was also arrested and found guilty on drug charges while in Russia, but Biden negotiated to have her released in a prisoner swap.
Now that the State of the Union has passed, Biden is also expected to start gearing up for the 2024 election. While he hasn’t formally announced his campaign plans, it is common for the incumbent president to run again after their first term. So far, the only Republican to announce their candidacy has been Trump.Click to Subscribe to Get Our Free HollywoodLife Daily Newsletter to get the hottest celeb news.