Even though many might have thought the State of the Union never would have happened, it's officially begun. Leading up to the event, there's been a lot of controversy surrounding the Trump administration, but it looks like this drama wont end anytime soon, because Donald Trump called to restrict abortion during the 2019 State of the Union. Here we go.
On Tuesday, Feb. 5, Donald Trump took the hot seat at the 2019 State of the Union address and brought up a number of issues, including immigration, the opioid crisis, and the economy. However, nearing the end of his speech, he brought up women's reproductive rights, and stated that he plans to push Congress to pass a legislation that would prohibit women from receiving late-term abortions.
To defend the dignity of every person, I am asking the Congress to pass legislation to prohibit the late-term abortion of children who can feel pain in the mother’s womb. Let us work together to build a culture that cherishes innocent life.
Even though Trump voiced his pro-life support in the past, bringing up this topic at the State of the Union is bold to say the least. However, I doubt this will be the last time we hear from Trump on this issue.
Trump's declaration could stem from recent laws from New York and Virginia that benefit the pro-choice movement and advance women's reproductive rights.
Virginia introduced House Bill 2491 on Jan. 9 that would remove abortion restrictions such as the 24-hour waiting period (which requires women to wait a full day and undergo counseling before receiving an abortion) as well as a previous mandate that required women in their third trimester of pregnancy to be evaluated by three doctors before terminating a pregnancy. This new bill would reduce that number to one.
In New York, legislators passed The Reproductive Health Act on Tuesday, Jan. 22, which basically allows patients seeking abortions to be assisted by physicians without any political interference. So, even if the Trump administration does plan to start making moves to restrict women's reproductive rights, New Yorkers could remain unfazed.
On Jan. 22, when The Reproductive Health Act was passed, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo spoke to a crowd about the decision to pass this act. He said,
Today we are taking a giant step forward in the hard-fought battle to ensure a woman's right to make her own decisions about her own personal health, including the ability to access an abortion. With the signing of this bill, we are sending a clear message that whatever happens in Washington, women in New York will always have the fundamental right to control their own body.
So, that's the State of the Union. As one of the most anticipated events of the year, it definitely was one for the books, whether good or bad. Even though this address may have wrapped up, the discussion surrounding women's rights is far from over. We'll just have to see how this whole fight unfolds in 2019.