URGE Statement on the Biden-Harris Administration’s Response to S.B. 8Administration Must Show Moral Leadership in this Moment
September 2, 2021
Contact: Berlin Rosen at email@example.com
Statement from Kimberly Inez McGuire, Executive Director of URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, on the Biden-Harris administration’s recent responses to Texas Senate Bill 8 (S.B. 8), a 6-week abortion ban that would also let private citizen’s sue those who support people who have an abortion after this time, as well as the Supreme Court’s refusal to put a hold on enforcement of the law.
“The United States has a number of tragedies unfolding in our midst. Appropriately, the Biden-Harris White House has responded by offering specific resources, practical action, and words of compassion for those all over the country impacted by Hurricane Ida and the wildfires in the West. Our hearts are with these people, that include URGE members, who have lost so much. At the same time, all the Administration had to offer those devastated by the loss of abortion rights in Texas are procedural statements and a ‘we’ll look into it.’ It’s not good enough. President Biden’s protracted silence on abortion and inadequate response are part of a pattern of reinforcing stigma and failing to recognize the severity of the impact these bans have on our lives and communities.
“Where are the words of compassion for the young people, low-income families, and Black and brown women who have nowhere to go for abortion care now? Where is the solidarity for those that lost their human rights overnight?
“There are real battles in the courts, which often hinge on legal technicalities. But right now we are facing a moral crisis that requires moral leadership.
“We deserve—and will accept nothing less than—a clear declaration of solidarity with people who need abortion care and a pledge from this White House to do everything in their power to address the human rights crisis in Texas today and defend abortion access moving forward.
“President Biden was on the campaign trail in 2019 and 2020 as extremist politicians passed hundreds of abortion restrictions. For well more than a decade, organizers in red states have been sounding the alarm about how the incremental chipping away of access to abortion would lead us to the situation Texas is in now. Surely the administration, and the seasoned professionals within it, have had ample time to understand the stakes and develop moral clarity on this issue.
“Moreover, this administration has made bold claims about their commitment to racial equity. Abortion bans fall hardest on Black women, immigrants, and trans and non-binary young people of color. Half-measures and lukewarm statements are not enough when white supremacist legislators in Texas have declared war on their own constituents.
“Young people aren’t just asking, they are DEMANDING, President Biden shows leadership at this moment. Remember: it was young Black voters in the South that helped put Biden and the Senate Democrats in office because they believed these leaders would best show up for them in their times of need.
“President Biden, Vice President Harris—we are calling for your leadership. More states are threatening to go down the road that Texas has taken. The overwhelming majority of people in this country who want abortion to be legal and accessible want your leadership. The one in four people who can become pregnant that will decide to have an abortion in their lifetime want your leadership. The millions of Texans who’ve been told their lives and decisions don’t matter NEED your leadership. Don’t make us wait any longer.”
URGE envisions a liberated world where we can live with justice, love freely, express our gender and sexuality, and define and create families of our choosing. To achieve our vision of liberation, URGE builds power and sustains a young people’s movement for reproductive justice by centering the leadership of young people of color who are women, queer, trans, nonbinary, and people with low incomes. As a state-driven national organization, URGE organizes our communities, provides a political home for young people, advocates for meaningful policy change, and shifts culture, working in states where the challenges and opportunities are greatest.