Democrats and Abortion

In his State of the Union address, Biden defended reproductive rights and accused Republicans of restricting birth control.

Vice President Kamala Harris’ highly symbolic visit to an abortion clinic in the Saint Paul, Minnesota, area is a dramatic expression of President Joe Biden’s commitment to reproductive rights; a reminder of the setback those rights may face if Republicans win the 2024 election.

Harris’ visit is the first ever by a sitting president or vice president to an abortion clinic and is a sign of the political importance of abortion rights to Democrats in general and to President Biden’s reelection campaign.

It is also a sign of how important Harris is in Biden’s winning a second term and perhaps even as his potential successor.

Abortion emerged as an issue of paramount political importance after the Supreme Court, dominated by conservative justices, struck down the 50-year-old precedent that gave abortion legal protection. Since then, Republican legislatures and state governments have enacted measures sometimes so restrictive they have created growing concern and protest.

The abortion issue is considered among the reasons that Republicans failed during the 2022 midterms.

The presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, has tried to avoid the issue, but his supporters have been very public about abortion, especially in states like Texas and Alabama, asserting positions so conservative that Alabama conducted a debate over whether cryogenically preserved fetuses are human beings.

Harris, a former state attorney general and senator from California, appears to play an important role in linking the Democratic ticket with Black, Hispanic and young voters.

According to the U.S. political press, polls suggest that many voters in those traditionally Democratic groups are either unenthusiastic about President Biden, looking toward Republican Trump, or are not yet thinking about the 2024 election campaign.

Those three groups and women are crucial to reintegrating the coalition that gave Democrats a narrow victory in 2020, and to giving Biden a chance to repeat it.

Harris has been tasked with convening and reaching out to those groups and has been a growing presence in the battleground states that are key to Biden winning a second term. Her success involves not only her own reelection as vice president but the very real possibility of inheriting the mantle.

Last week, in his State of the Union address, Biden defended reproductive rights and accused Republicans of wanting to restrict birth control and in vitro fertilization, although he did not use the word “abortion,” substituting language such as “freedom of choice.”

About this publication

About Stephen Routledge 168 Articles
Stephen is the Head of a Portfolio Management Office (PMO) in a public sector organisation. He has over twenty years experience in project, programme and portfolio management, leading various major organisational change initiatives. He has been invited to share his knowledge, skills and experience at various national events. Stephen has a BA Honours Degree in History & English and a Masters in Human Resource Management (HRM). He has studied a BSc Language Studies Degree (French & Spanish) and is currently completing a Masters in Translation (Spanish to English). He has been translating for more than ten years for various organisations and individuals, with a particular interest in science and technology, poetry and literature, and current affairs.

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