Last night, President Joe Biden took center stage in the chamber of the U.S. House of Representatives, delivering his first State of the Union address.
The president addressed various issues, including the ongoing war in Ukraine, immigration, COVID-19, the economy and law enforcement among others.
But there were several topics in particular that the president spoke on that are of heightened interest to social conservatives and Christians.
“Advancing liberty and justice also requires protecting the rights of women,” the president asserted, referring to the “right to abortion.”
“The constitutional right affirmed by Roe v. Wade, standing precedent for half a century, is under attack as never before. If you want to go forward, not backward, we must protect access to healthcare, preserve a woman’s right to choose, and continue to advance maternal healthcare for all Americans.”
President Biden’s declaration of the “attack” on Roe v. Wade was especially poignant, considering that as he was speaking about abortion, the cameras panned to newly minted Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett, who most believe will vote to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Currently, the U.S. Supreme Court is considering whether to overturn Roe in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which centers around whether Mississippi can enact laws prohibiting abortion after a preborn baby is 15 weeks old.
Five justices of the high court were in attendance at last night’s State of the Union, including Chief Justice John Roberts, and Associate Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.
Justice Barrett remained motionless, as did the other justices, during the president’s mention of Roe. Since the State of the Union is a politically charged event, Supreme Court justices normally don’t react to what is said.
Right after his mention of abortion, President Biden shifted topics to a different social issue.
“For our LGBTQ+ Americans, let’s finally get the bipartisan Equality Act to my desk. The onslaught of state laws targeting transgender Americans and their families is simply wrong.
“I said last year, especially to our young transgender Americans, I’ll always have your back as your president, so you can be yourself and reach your God-given potential.”
The president’s mention of his opposition to state laws “targeting transgender Americans” likely refers to the states which have passed “Save Women’s Sports” bills into law.
These laws ensure K-12 and collegiate athletic competitions are restricted to participants based on biological sex, not one’s subjective “gender identity.”
Another law that has been passed on the state level involving transgenderism is Arkansas’ “Save Adolescents From Experimentation Act” which protects gender-confused minors from harmful and dangerous puberty blockers, cross-sex hormones and so-called “sex change” surgeries. Other legislatures are also considering similar bills to keep children from bodily harm.
The president also addressed rising inflation, which last month hit a 40-year high of 7.5%.
“So many families are living paycheck to paycheck, struggling to keep up with the rising costs of food, gas, housing and so much more,” President Biden said.
“Like many of you, I grew up in a family, when the price of food went up, it was felt throughout the family. It had an impact.”
The president then praised Congress for passing the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan last year, which sent $1,400 checks to over 150 million Americans.
At the time, Focus on the Family President Jim Daly criticized Congress for passing the mammoth spending bill without including the longstanding Hyde amendment. That amendment prohibits taxpayer dollars from directly funding abortions.
“The outrageous and unconscionable use of taxpayer dollars for the destruction of life both maddens and saddens my heart,” Daly said at the time.
Additionally, “the subject of the rapidly escalating U.S. debt should also be of ethical concern to the family … debt enslaves nations and eventually weakens their way of life,” he also noted as to the spending bill’s size and scope.
According to early results, 37 million people watched last night’s State of the Union address. There were 6.9 million people who watched on Fox News, 5.9 million viewers on ABC and 4.6 million on CBS.
And according to a CNN poll, 41% of viewers had a “very positive” reaction to his speech, “the lowest in 15 years.”
Photo from Reuters.