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Tips for Creating Impressive Persuasive Speeches on Abortion

Jessica Nita

Table of Contents

Speech is a great way to persuade someone that your position or viewpoint on a specific topic is correct and reasonable. But, creating a good persuasive speech is a challenging task. Especially, when you chose such a controversial topic as abortion. 

There are a lot of questions about abortion and they are constantly discussed in society. Debates over abortion touches on different aspects like religious viewpoints, the legality of this procedure, and its morality. And to create a good-quality abortion persuasive essay , you need to know about all key points, rules, and best writing practices.

In this article, you will find all information about writing persuasive speeches on abortion. We will tell you about each step and share some useful tips. Keep reading to learn more!

Preparing an Abortion Persuasive Speech : Essential Steps

The process of writing any persuasive speech includes several steps. And all of them are equally important if you want to craft the best speech possible. Speaking of abortion persuasive essay writing, here are the steps you need to follow to prepare an exceptional speech:

  • Research the topic. Before you decide what position to take in your speech, you need to learn as much information as possible about abortion and look at it from different viewpoints.
  • Choose your side. Basically, there are only two sides you can choose from — so-called pro-life and pro-choice. The first side argues against abortion, and another side argues in favor of abortion as a legal right for every woman.
  • Create a thesis statement for your abortion persuasive essay . 
  • Outline your speech. Write down all the points you want to communicate in your speech and organize them. Find the strongest arguments from all your ideas and use only them. Weak points will not help you to create a good persuasive essay.
  • Create the first draft. We will talk about each part of a persuasive essay structure later in this article.
  • Revise your speech and edit it. Polish your first draft by changing sentences, removing mistakes, and checking the logical sequence of all points. Repeat the process as many times as needed to create a flawless final draft.

How to Start a Persuasive Speech on Abortion

The best way to start your abortion persuasive speech is with an attention grabber. It can be interesting statistics, or an intriguing question, that will make the audience keep listening to you.

After the first sentence, you need to move to your thesis statement. Basically, you will argue for or against abortion and you need to clearly state it in your thesis. But, it is also important to provide the key point why you chose one side and not another. Use one sentence between the attention grabber and your thesis statement to ensure a smooth transition.

write a speech on abortion

How to Present Arguments in a Persuasive Speech About Abortions

Now, let’s talk about the main part of your abortion persuasive essay — argumentation. Basically, the less you write, the better. The meaning is you need to remove all unnecessary information from your speech. Provide short, precise facts and arguments, without deviating from your main point. Every argument should be formulated in powerful sentences that will hit your listeners and make them think critically.

The best way is to present an argument and back it up with a few facts or statistics. If you think that your argument can be unclear, make sure you add one more sentence to better explain your point. Once you communicate one point, move to the next one, that is logically connected to your previous point.

Don’t try to present all your arguments in one speech. Choose no more than 3-4 arguments, and make sure they are the strongest ones. Otherwise, your listener will be bored with the length of your abortion persuasive speech and unconvinced of the validity of your position.

How to End an Abortion Persuasive Speech

The conclusion is extremely important in a persuasive speech. It is the last chance to reinforce your point of view. So, if you want to impress the listeners and make them consider your position, you need to choose the right words for your concluding sentences.

First, you can summarize your arguments, just to remind the listeners of your key points. It should be a short sentence where you just repeat all points one by one. And after this, you need to make a final statement. 

There are a lot of options for how you can make it, and everything depends on what arguments you presented earlier. One of the most interesting ways is to end with a question that will make people doubt their position if it is opposite to yours.

Persuasive Speech About Abortion : Key Points to Know

We have already told you enough about the process of writing an abortion persuasive essay . But, the same with any type of essay, a persuasive speech has its special features. Here are some key points to remember if you truly want to persuade people of your viewpoint on abortion:

  • As people usually listen to speeches, not read them, there is no place for abstract phrases and deviations from the topic. A persuasive speech should be precise, clear, and contain powerful statements and arguments.
  • Use simple language, as people usually become less interested when hearing sophisticated words. No need to speak with too complicated phrases.
  • Your words can be emotional and passionate. It will help to strengthen your message and evoke emotions among your listeners. Using formal, dry language in an abortion persuasive essay is not effective at all.

Final Thoughts

We have covered all essential points in writing a speech about abortion. Now, it’s time for you to get to work and create a persuasive speech. We hope our guide will help you with this task.

And remember, despite the fact that persuasive speech should persuade people, it rarely works like that. One speech is not enough to make a person immediately change their opinion on abortion. But, a good persuasive speech indeed can influence people and get them thinking further. And it should be your goal when writing an abortion persuasive essay.

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Are you about to write a persuasive essay on abortion but wondering how to begin?

Writing an effective persuasive essay on the topic of abortion can be a difficult task for many students. 

It is important to understand both sides of the issue and form an argument based on facts and logical reasoning. This requires research and understanding, which takes time and effort.

In this blog, we will provide you with some easy steps to craft a persuasive essay about abortion that is compelling and convincing. Moreover, we have included some example essays and interesting facts to read and get inspired by. 

So let's start!

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  • 1. How To Write a Persuasive Essay About Abortion?
  • 2. Persuasive Essay About Abortion Examples
  • 3. Examples of Argumentative Essay About Abortion
  • 4. Abortion Persuasive Essay Topics
  • 5. Facts About Abortion You Need to Know

How To Write a Persuasive Essay About Abortion?

Abortion is a controversial topic, with people having differing points of view and opinions on the matter. There are those who oppose abortion, while some people endorse pro-choice arguments. 

It is also an emotionally charged subject, so you need to be extra careful when crafting your persuasive essay .

Before you start writing your persuasive essay, you need to understand the following steps.

Step 1: Choose Your Position

The first step to writing a persuasive essay on abortion is to decide your position. Do you support the practice or are you against it? You need to make sure that you have a clear opinion before you begin writing. 

Once you have decided, research and find evidence that supports your position. This will help strengthen your argument. 

Check out the video below to get more insights into this topic:

Step 2: Choose Your Audience

The next step is to decide who your audience will be. Will you write for pro-life or pro-choice individuals? Or both? 

Knowing who you are writing for will guide your writing and help you include the most relevant facts and information.

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Step 3: Define Your Argument

Now that you have chosen your position and audience, it is time to craft your argument. 

Start by defining what you believe and why, making sure to use evidence to support your claims. You also need to consider the opposing arguments and come up with counter arguments. This helps make your essay more balanced and convincing.

Step 4: Format Your Essay

Once you have the argument ready, it is time to craft your persuasive essay. Follow a standard format for the essay, with an introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. 

Make sure that each paragraph is organized and flows smoothly. Use clear and concise language, getting straight to the point.

Step 5: Proofread and Edit

The last step in writing your persuasive essay is to make sure that you proofread and edit it carefully. Look for spelling, grammar, punctuation, or factual errors and correct them. This will help make your essay more professional and convincing.

These are the steps you need to follow when writing a persuasive essay on abortion. It is a good idea to read some examples before you start so you can know how they should be written.

Continue reading to find helpful examples.

Persuasive Essay About Abortion Examples

To help you get started, here are some example persuasive essays on abortion that may be useful for your own paper.

Short Persuasive Essay About Abortion

Persuasive Essay About No To Abortion

What Is Abortion? - Essay Example

Persuasive Speech on Abortion

Legal Abortion Persuasive Essay

Persuasive Essay About Abortion in the Philippines

Persuasive Essay about legalizing abortion

You can also read m ore persuasive essay examples to imp rove your persuasive skills.

Examples of Argumentative Essay About Abortion

An argumentative essay is a type of essay that presents both sides of an argument. These essays rely heavily on logic and evidence.

Here are some examples of argumentative essay with introduction, body and conclusion that you can use as a reference in writing your own argumentative essay. 

Abortion Persuasive Essay Introduction

Argumentative Essay About Abortion Conclusion

Argumentative Essay About Abortion Pdf

Argumentative Essay About Abortion in the Philippines

Argumentative Essay About Abortion - Introduction

Abortion Persuasive Essay Topics

If you are looking for some topics to write your persuasive essay on abortion, here are some examples:

  • Should abortion be legal in the United States?
  • Is it ethical to perform abortions, considering its pros and cons?
  • What should be done to reduce the number of unwanted pregnancies that lead to abortions?
  • Is there a connection between abortion and psychological trauma?
  • What are the ethical implications of abortion on demand?
  • How has the debate over abortion changed over time?
  • Should there be legal restrictions on late-term abortions?
  • Does gender play a role in how people view abortion rights?
  • Is it possible to reduce poverty and unwanted pregnancies through better sex education?
  • How is the anti-abortion point of view affected by religious beliefs and values? 

These are just some of the potential topics that you can use for your persuasive essay on abortion. Think carefully about the topic you want to write about and make sure it is something that interests you. 

Check out m ore persuasive essay topics that will help you explore other things that you can write about!

Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!

Facts About Abortion You Need to Know

Here are some facts about abortion that will help you formulate better arguments.

  • According to the Guttmacher Institute , 1 in 4 pregnancies end in abortion.
  • The majority of abortions are performed in the first trimester.
  • Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures, with less than a 0.5% risk of major complications.
  • In the United States, 14 states have laws that restrict or ban most forms of abortion after 20 weeks gestation.
  • Seven out of 198 nations allow elective abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy.
  • In places where abortion is illegal, more women die during childbirth and due to complications resulting from pregnancy.
  • A majority of pregnant women who opt for abortions do so for financial and social reasons.
  • According to estimates, 56 million abortions occur annually.

In conclusion, these are some of the examples, steps, and topics that you can use to write a persuasive essay. Make sure to do your research thoroughly and back up your arguments with evidence. This will make your essay more professional and convincing. 

Need the services of a professional essay writing service ? We've got your back!

MyPerfectWords.com is a persuasive essay writing service that provides help to students in the form of professionally written essays. Our persuasive essay writer can craft quality persuasive essays on any topic, including abortion. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What should i talk about in an essay about abortion.

FAQ Icon

When writing an essay about abortion, it is important to cover all the aspects of the subject. This includes discussing both sides of the argument, providing facts and evidence to support your claims, and exploring potential solutions.

What is a good argument for abortion?

A good argument for abortion could be that it is a woman’s choice to choose whether or not to have an abortion. It is also important to consider the potential risks of carrying a pregnancy to term.

Caleb S.

Caleb S. has been providing writing services for over five years and has a Masters degree from Oxford University. He is an expert in his craft and takes great pride in helping students achieve their academic goals. Caleb is a dedicated professional who always puts his clients first.

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Persuasive Speech on Abortion

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No matter, how we persuade ourselves, every woman that decides to put an end to her pregnancy understands that it is wrong. It couldn’t be another way, as our instinct tells us that it is absolutely unnatural to decide for another human being, whether they should live or die. Yes, they can come up with different excuses, but it in no case changes the sense of their action, the action that will cost life to their child .

It was scientifically proven that children in uterus start perceiving things very early. Their heart starts beating on the sixth week, and brain starts working at the same time. So, when an abortion is done , it is in fact the end of life of a human being who already can feel and think. If I were in such a situation, I just couldn’t have taken the responsibility for someone else’s life. I know that I am responsible for myself – I can, for instance, smoke, consume alcohol and spoil my own health in this way – it will be my choice, and indeed no one can make me stop it unless I want it to stop. But when we speak of unborn children – what kind of choice is this? This is not…

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Opinion Advocates for ideas and draws conclusions based on the author/producer’s interpretation of facts and data.

Explainer A data-driven story that provides background, definition and detail on a specific topic.

How to Really Support People Who Have Abortions


I had no one to support me after my abortion senior year of high school, mostly because seeking support would mean telling someone my secret. 

At the time, I lived with my aunt during the week to attend the high school in her affluent neighborhood. Though she was a Black woman, her predominantly White and Asian community was different from the one I was used to. I felt every bit of my status as an outcast.

The parallel lines on that pregnancy test were an added marker of difference that signified I was more of an anxious fugitive than a welcome visitor. At 17 years old, I was familiar with how an unintended pregnancy could derail one’s life, especially if it happened to a teen. On the other hand, I lacked a script for what to do when you didn’t intend to carry that pregnancy to term. 

Abortion stigma exists everywhere. Even in countries where abortion is incredibly accessible, people still face stigma, shame, and isolation.

Zachi Brewster, an abortion doula and sex and pleasure educator, who alternates living between England and Italy, says the biggest societal failure in supporting individuals who’ve had abortions is not teaching about them or having considerations that normalize the experience before someone finds themselves needing an abortion.

“When I’m supporting someone, I always ask, ‘when did you first learn about abortion?’ because that often gives them an idea about where their ideas about abortion came from—and how they think about their abortion,” she says, noting the political context in which we frame abortion often prevents the space for care.

Had we had that conversation when I was pregnant at 17, I’d say television, because my primary source of public health and social education, neglected the topic. For that reason, the end of my pregnancy marked the gestation of 10 years of shame and fear of stigma.

While roughly one in four individuals capable of being pregnant have an abortion by 45, many are left to process the experience alone. In a world full of abortion stigma, we find many ways of asking, “who loves and supports the individuals who have had abortions?” And now, as the world tries to make sense of the enactment of Texas’ devastating SB 8 abortion law that bans abortion after six weeks, we’re reminded that individuals seeking abortions need even more support.  Abortion advocates say challenging stigma, listening, and demonstrating unconditional kindness are vital to showing that love.

Challenging Stigma and the Oversimplification of Abortion 

“The truth is that abortion stigma exists everywhere. Even in countries where abortion is incredibly accessible, people still face stigma, shame, and isolation. This shows that even in these countries, there’s the element of care and support that is missing,” says Camila Ochoa Mendoza, a reproductive justice researcher in Gothenburg, Sweden, and the producer of the podcast Abortion, with love .  

Ochoa Mendoza leaned into abortion support after witnessing the loving sense of community at an International Network for the Reduction of Abortion Discrimination and Stigma (inroads) gathering. She realized she could make an impact by normalizing talking about abortion and leading those conversations with joy, respect, and love. 

Her podcast was born of a central question: “What would happen if we stopped dedicating our time and energy trying to convince people that we are worthy of love and care and instead shift our attention inwards, to our community, to the people who have abortions, and ensuring that they are taken care of?”  

Racial discrimination, the prison and immigration industrial complexes, and wage disparities create barriers to individuals’ ability to raise families in nurturing communities.

Ochoa Mendoza says that too often individuals are left to process the scrutiny of their reproductive choices—especially with abortion—as the public lacks consideration for how patterns of oppression and inequality inform these choices. Instead, she says, we adapt “simplistic narratives” to discuss abortion that label us to the benefit of political parties and to the detriment of the people seeking abortion services.  

Reproductive Justice activists have long highlighted the failure of the anti-abortion rights/pro-abortion rights binary. Anti-abortion rights conservatives often deprioritize the personhood of pregnant individuals and deny the importance of reproductive equity, often co-opting the language of the civil rights movement. The pro-abortion rights perspective prioritizes legal access but overlooks how a history of racialized reproductive oppression through forced sterilization and family separation adds nuance to individuals’ reproductive decisions. Still, mainstream conversations on reproduction, specifically abortion, have only recently begun to challenge this language. 

Both movements articulate motherhood from a middle-class—and often White—perspective that alienates low-income, queer, and BIPOC individuals through an emphasis on the legal system. Neither address how racial discrimination, the prison and immigration industrial complexes, and wage disparities create barriers to individuals’ ability to raise families in nurturing communities. Those same barriers block abortion access—and care. 

Through her podcast, Ochoa Mendoza aims to create space to honor all experiences of abortion and to celebrate those working to make the world a safer place for abortion seekers.

Personalizing Support

“When you’re trying to get an abortion, there’s so much energy focused on the physical, there’s no space to think about the emotional,” says Brewster, who believes individuals can “hold multiple truths” while processing their abortion experience. Through her work, she has found that most people just need someone to talk to. 

“That is so simple, but it is hugely impactful when you feel that you have a space where you can go and tell someone your story, where you feel seen, where you feel supported, where you know that person [won’t] judge them,” Brewster says.

While an abortion might be an empowering “act of self-love” for some, she believes each individual deserves support that is anchored in community and one’s individual needs based on their circumstance. Brewster’s organization, DOPO , is a gender-inclusive, community-oriented resource for abortion support-seekers and support-providers that meets people where they are in processing their abortion experience.  

Like Ochoa Mendoza, Brewster suggests “choice” can be inaccurate to describe individuals’ efforts to provide for themselves, and often their existing families, amid many forms of structural inequality. Instead, she frames her advocacy under a model of providing and receiving care in community.  

“It would be wonderful if people had time to seek support from someone who could support from the moment you’re considering an abortion right through. But because of the politics and the pressure, many people come to me after. “

When seeking an abortion, one of the most significant types of pressure is time. Infamous “heartbeat bills” like the one in Texas—where I had my first abortion—intersect with financial, travel, and employment barriers forcing individuals, especially those who are marginalized and low-income, to expedite the decision-making process. 

Kindness Through Logistical Support

Gina Martinez, co-founder and organizer of the Colorado Doula Project , notes that even people who consider themselves pro-choice uphold narratives that “crisis” in life circumstance or fetal anomaly is the only legitimate reason to terminate a pregnancy.

“I think a lot of people feel like they need to justify why they’re having an abortion, and that kind of stigma and lack of acceptance isolates people,” says Martinez, who experienced a related yet different stigma while unmarried and pregnant with her daughter at 22. She realized that both choices—embracing parenthood or terminating the pregnancy—came with judgment.

The lack of support for pregnant people can leave them vulnerable to crisis pregnancy centers , which are receiving an increasing amount of local government funds . “Crisis pregnancy centers receive federal funding… yet study after study shows that CPCs routinely provide misleading and inaccurate medical information,” says Katelyn Bryant-Comstock of IntraHealth International in Chapel Hill, in a 2019 interview with Reuters. The Colorado Doula Project supports individuals with the logistical aspects of abortion.

Martinez realized that people seeking abortions were severely underserved and often needed non-monetary forms of support, like transportation or someone to temporarily handle the process of grocery shopping or providing meals.  They address the needs that, when left unaddressed, can push individuals towards crisis pregnancy centers.  

In addition to funding abortions up to 24 weeks and providing transportation, Martinez says, CDP mails preventative resources like condoms, emergency contraceptives, pregnancy tests, prenatal vitamins, and post-abortion care packages for free.    

“Every single one of those people, what they need is kindness. That’s one of the most simple and radical things that you can do,” she says. 

Like Ochoa Mendoza and Brewster, Martinez speaks of challenging our own perspectives around abortion as an integral part of supporting others. Each one emphasized understanding abortion more holistically, going beyond the political binary narrative, and deepening that understanding through an equity lens.

When supporting individuals seeking abortion health care or supporting those who are processing their experience small act can make a big difference. Looking for ways to get involved?

Highlight and share first-hand accounts in abortion storytelling efforts, such as WeTestify . Consider signing up for abortion doula trainings like those hosted through DOPO, or fund it for someone else. Use the directory through The National Network Of Abortions Funds to find the folks doing the work near you. If you don’t have the funds to contribute, you can always support with your time. 

But whatever you do, don’t be silent, because, in the words of Renee Bracey Sherman, everyone loves someone who has had an abortion.

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The Rhetoric That Shaped The Abortion Debate

write a speech on abortion

Women take part in a 1977 demonstration in New York City demanding safe and legal abortions for all women. Peter Keegan/Stringer/Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

Women take part in a 1977 demonstration in New York City demanding safe and legal abortions for all women.

Before Roe v. Wade: Voices that Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court's Ruling By Linda Greenhouse and Reva B. Siegel Hardcover, 352 pages Kaplan Publishing List Price: $26

Before the Supreme Court struck down many state laws restricting abortion in the 1973 landmark case Roe v. Wade , the Justices read briefs from both abortion-rights supporters and opponents.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Linda Greenhouse has collected the best of these briefs -- as well as important documents leading up to the decision -- in a new book, Before Roe v. Wade: Voices that Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court's Ruling.

In an interview on Fresh Air, Greenhouse explains the arguments in favor of decriminalizing abortion -- and the rhetoric used by both sides of the debate that continues to resonate more than 35 years after Roe.

After researching the book, Greenhouse says, she came away with a more nuanced understanding of how the abortion debate has affected so many other issues.

"What the research did indicate to me is how multifaceted the issue is and how the word [abortion] came over time to stand for so much more than the termination of a pregnancy," she says. "It really came to stand for a debate about the place of women in the world."

write a speech on abortion

Linda Greenhouse is a senior fellow at Yale Law School. She covered the Supreme Court for The New York Times for three decades. courtesy of the author hide caption

Linda Greenhouse is a senior fellow at Yale Law School. She covered the Supreme Court for The New York Times for three decades.

Interview Highlights

On why the medical community's lobbying groups shifted to support the decriminalization of abortion

"The medical impetus to start reforming the old abortion laws actually came, not from the American Medical Association but from the American Public Health Association -- from the public health profession. There is a public health doctor, Mary Calderon, who was medical director of Planned Parenthood and also very active in professional public health circles. She wrote some influential articles depicting abortion as a serious public health issue -- that is to say, illegal abortion, back-alley abortion, as a serious public health issue -- and basically started calling on the medical profession to take a new look at this old issue. Abortion could now be a very safe medical procedure when done properly and under the right conditions. And so the facts on the ground had changed: Women were having secret abortions in large numbers; there was a good deal of medical bad consequences and suffering because of this, and it was really the public health doctors who sounded the call."

On the use of the phrase 'the right to choose'

"Jimmye Kimmey was a young woman who was executive director of an organization called the Association for the Study of Abortion (ASA), which was one of the early reform groups and was migrating in the early 1970s from a position of reforming the existing abortion laws to the outright repeal of existing abortion laws, and she wrote a memorandum framing the issue of how the pro-repeal position should be described: 'Right to life is short, catchy, composed of monosyllabic words -- an important consideration in English. We need something comparable. Right to choose would seem to do the job. And ... choice has to do with action, and it's action that we're concerned with.' "

On the significance of J.C. Willke, who wrote Handbook on Abortion

"He is a key figure in the right-to-life movement. He and his wife self-published this little book called Handbook on Abortion in 1971 in the form of questions and answers about abortions from the right-to-life point of view. And it got distributed like wildfire. It now exists in many, many editions. People can go on Google and Amazon and find it easily. It's been translated in many languages, and it really became a Bible of the right-to-life movement. And we were grateful to Dr. Willke for giving us permission to republish it. The reason we wanted to have a substantial excerpt from it is because people on the pro-choice side, I'm quite certain, have never seen it. And it's a very striking document and his voice was and continues to be an important voice on that side."

On feminism's role in shaping the abortion debate

"The feminist community at that time, in the mid-'60s, was much more interested in empowering women to take a full place in the economy, in the world-place. Things like child care. Things like equal pay. Things like getting rid of sex-specific help-wanted ads. Woman wanted, man wanted -- that type of thing. And there wasn't much talk about abortion reform in feminist circles until quite late in the '60s, when Betty Friedan, in a very influential speech, drew the connection between the ability of women to participate fully in the economy and the ability of women to control their reproductive lives. That began a reframing in feminist terms of the issue of abortion reform as part of women's empowerment and of women assuming a new role in society."

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Excerpt: 'Before Roe v. Wade'

Abortion is Our Right, and We Won’t Be Silenced

A protestor holding a sign with an ACLU logo that says Our Voice is Our Power.

If you thought anti-abortion extremists were going to stop at banning abortion, punishing pregnant people, and allowing bounty hunters to sue abortion providers, you’d be wrong. Politicians across the country have proposed bills taking aim at our right to discuss abortion care, to express the benefits of being able to determine if and when to become pregnant, and even to create art about reproductive health care. They’re continuing their attacks on our reproductive freedom by going after our right to free speech and our access to life-saving information. This isn’t just about taking away people’s decisions during pregnancy; politicians are trying to erase our health care needs, our stories and experiences, and our existence.

Bills in Iowa and Texas were recently introduced that force internet providers to block websites that give information about abortion and allow anyone to sue an internet provider who fails to block those websites. In order to avoid the risk of lawsuits, internet service providers — which may even include places that supply internet access like colleges and libraries — would be forced to block any website that discusses abortion, including those of abortion funds working around the clock to make sure pregnant people know their options for accessing abortion and where they may need to travel. The Texas law even targets specific websites that would have to be blocked, some of which are simply sites to get educational information about abortion pills and their safety. Anti-abortion extremists are clearly aiming to ensure people who need abortions in their state can’t even learn about their options.

At the same time as states are trying to shut down access to information about abortion, public colleges are responding to legislative attacks from extremist politicians by curtailing free speech and artistic expression — even going beyond the bounds of the law out of fear they may face political punishment. Last summer, for example, Indiana University told faculty that they had committed a policy violation by writing a letter in support of a colleague and opposing a proposed abortion ban in the legislature.

More recently, Lewis-Clark State College announced that it would pull several artists pieces addressing abortion from an upcoming exhibition, “Unconditional Care,” for fear of violating the state’s No Public Funds for Abortion Act. A far cry from providing unconditional care to its community, the college is censoring work that gives voice to a range of topics that are often heavily stigmatized and rarely spoken about.

write a speech on abortion

An Idaho College Censored Their Reproductive Health Care Art, But These Artists Won’t be Silenced

Three artists whose work was removed from an exhibit at Lewis-Clark State College speak out about attempts to silence stories about abortion.

Source: American Civil Liberties Union

We know that freedom of speech, artistic expression, and reproductive freedom go hand in hand. We must be allowed to talk about our experiences and exchange information about our health care in order to truly make decisions about our bodies and our families free from political interference. We cannot allow extremist politicians to get in between us and the information we need, or to tell us what we can and can’t say — online or off.

The ACLU is fighting in courts and state legislatures across the country to stop bills like these (and many more), but we need you to stand with us. Whether you live in a state where politicians are taking away your free speech and abortion rights or not, you can make a difference in this fight. Join the ACLU in fighting back against attacks on abortion access and other civil liberties across the country by signing up for information and ways to take action below.

Learn More About the Issues on This Page

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Why Freedom of Speech Is the Next Abortion Fight

A legal battle in Mississippi will test whether states can criminalize those who merely provide information.

A black-and-white photo of a protester silhouetted in front of the U.S. Supreme Court

I n the middle of July, three big blue billboards went up in and around Jackson, Mississippi. Pregnant? You still have a choice , they informed passing motorists, inviting them to visit Mayday.Health to learn more. Anybody who did landed on a website that provides information about at-home abortion pills and ways to get them delivered anywhere in the United States—including parts of the country, such as Mississippi, where abortions are now illegal under most circumstances.

A few days ago, the founders of the nonprofit that paid for the billboard ads, Mayday Health , received a subpoena from the office of the attorney general of Mississippi. (The state has already been at the center of recent debates about abortion: Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization , the ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade , upheld a Mississippi statute by allowing states to put strict limits on abortion.) The subpoena, which I have seen , demands a trove of documents about Mayday Health and its activities. It may be the first step in an effort to force Mayday Health to take down the billboards, or even to prosecute the organization’s leaders for aiding and abetting criminal conduct.

Mayday Health is not backing down. This week, it is taking out a television ad on Mississippi channels and putting up 20 additional billboards. This makes the legal fight over the Jackson billboards a crucial test in two interrelated conflicts about abortion that are still coming into public view.

Read: The abortion-rights message that some activists hate

The first is that the availability of abortion pills, which are very safe and effective during the first three months of pregnancy, has transformed the stakes of the abortion fight . The pro-life movement has hoped that states’ new powers to shut down abortion providers will radically reduce the number of abortions around the country. The pro-choice movement has feared that the end of Roe will lead to a resurgence of back-alley abortions that seriously threaten women’s health.

Yet the changes wrought by the recent Supreme Court ruling may turn out to be more contained than meets the eye: Legal restrictions on first-trimester abortions have become much harder to enforce because a simple pill can now be used to induce a miscarriage. Abortion by medication is widely available in large parts of the country; as Mayday Health points out on its website, even women who are residents in states where doctors cannot prescribe such pills can set up a temporary forwarding address and obtain them by mail.

The second brewing conflict is about limits on free speech. So long as abortions required an in-person medical procedure, the pro-life movement could hope to reduce them by shutting down local clinics offering the service. Now that comparatively cheap and convenient workarounds exist for most cases, effective curbs on abortion require the extra step of preventing people from finding out about these alternatives. That is putting many members of the pro-life movement, be they Mississippi’s attorney general or Republican legislators in several states who are trying to pass draconian restrictions on information and advice about abortions, on a collision course with the First Amendment.

S ome limits on speech are reasonable. States do, for example, have a legitimate interest in banning advertisements for illegal drugs. If a cocaine dealer took out a billboard advertising his wares, the government should obviously be able to take it down. Especially when it comes to commercial speech, some common-sense restrictions on what people can say or claim have always existed and are well-justified.

But the laws that Republicans are now introducing in state legislatures around the country go far beyond such narrow limits on objectionable commercial speech. In South Carolina, for example, Republican legislators have recently sponsored a bill that would criminalize “providing information to a pregnant woman, or someone seeking information on behalf of a pregnant woman, by telephone, internet, or any other mode of communication regarding self-administered abortions or the means to obtain an abortion, knowing that the information will be used, or is reasonably likely to be used, for an abortion.”

Read: The coming rise of abortion as a crime

This law—which is modeled on draft legislation that the National Right to Life Committee is trying to get passed in many states around the country—would seriously undermine the right to free speech. It could potentially make doctors in states where abortion is actually legal liable to prosecution for discussing their services with someone who calls them from a state where abortion is illegal. It could even outlaw basic forms of speech such as news stories containing information that might be used by someone seeking an abortion. Theoretically, even this article could fall under that proscription.

The subpoena issued by the office of Mississippi’s attorney general is objectionable for similar reasons. Mayday Health is not advertising a commercial product or service. The organization does not handle or distribute abortion pills. All it does is provide information. Although one could reasonably believe that the information Mayday Health is providing may be used to commit acts that are now illegal in some parts of the United States, a ban on informational speech that can be used for the purposes of lawbreaking would be unacceptably broad and vague. After all, would-be lawbreakers might also consult the blog posts of lawyers who explain how to object to an improper search of a vehicle or study the pages of a novel to figure out how to make a Molotov cocktail. Should the attorney or the novelist also be considered to have aided or abetted a crime?

Recent efforts to suppress speech about abortion would seriously undermine the nation’s ability to debate the topic openly and honestly. Anybody who believes in the importance of the First Amendment should oppose them. As Will Creeley, the legal director of the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, has pointed out , “These proposals are a chilling attempt to stifle free speech … Whether you agree with abortion or not is irrelevant. You have the right to talk about it.”

I n recent years , the wider debate about free speech has undergone a strange transformation. Historically, the American left staunchly defended the First Amendment because it recognized the central part that free speech played in the struggles against slavery and segregation, and in the fight for the rights of women and sexual minorities. But as establishment institutions, including universities and corporations, became more progressive, and parts of the left came to feel that they had a significant share in institutional power, the absolute commitment to free speech waned.

Progressives started to find the idea of restrictions on free speech appealing because they assumed that those making decisions about what to allow and what to ban would share their views and values. Today, some on the extremist left endorse restrictions on free speech, demanding campus speech codes and measures to force social-media sites to “deplatform” controversial commentators and censor what they claim is “misinformation.”

Mary Ziegler: Why exceptions for the life of the mother have disappeared

The transformation of the left’s position on freedom of speech has allowed both principled conservatives and the less-than-principled protagonists of the MAGA movement to cast themselves as defenders of the First Amendment. In the mind of many people, the cause of free speech has astoundingly quickly shifted from being associated with left-wing organizations such as the ACLU to becoming the property of right-leaning pundits and politicians.

This makes the new front in the fight over abortion rights an important reminder of why the left should never abandon the cause of free speech. If the left gives up on the core commitment to free speech, what people can say is as likely to be determined by the attorney general of Mississippi as it is by college deans or tech workers. Curbs on free expression have always been a tool of governments that seek to control the lives of their citizens and punish those who defy them. The same remains true today.

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There’s reason for people on opposing sides of abortion to talk, even if they disagree – it helps build respect, understanding and can lead to policy change

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Kate W. Isaacs is affiliated with Braver Angels as a volunteer facilitator.

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The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has split the country into joyous supporters and furious dissenters. Emotions are running high, and some protests have turned violent . Yet research shows that people on either side of the abortion rights issue can bridge their divide if they speak directly and respectfully with one another.

In July 2022, former leaders of prominent abortion-rights and anti-abortion advocacy organizations in Massachusetts gathered to discuss a new documentary film series about conversations they had regularly from 1995 to 2001. The warm friendships that they developed across their deep differences on abortion persist today, decades after their first meeting.

Nicki Gamble, the former president and CEO of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts , said during the panel that the opportunity to engage with anti-abortion activists “changed my life.”

Others agreed.

“The facilitators made us really listen,” said Madeline McComish, former president of Massachusetts Citizens for Life . “Most of the time the pro-choice women had said something different than what we thought.”

My research on talks between abortion-rights and anti-abortion advocates found that respectful conversation produces numerous positive outcomes. It helps people listen more deeply and forge personal connections, which can reduce negative stereotypes and foster respect and empathy. In Boston, this translated to a lessening of inflammatory public language.

It can also lead people on opposite sides of an issue to evolve their views and develop more nuanced, complex perspectives.

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De-escalating violence

The Abortion Dialogues , as they are known, were launched in Boston in response to lethal shootings in 1994 by an anti-abortion rights gunman at two local abortion clinics.

At that time , the country was deeply polarized about abortion, rocked by violent protests and murders of prominent doctors who provided abortions.

Six women activists for and against abortion rights started confidential talks in Boston in 1995, hoping to de-escalate the violence.

They soon discovered that their moral worldviews presented two irreconcilable philosophies about how to live in the world.

The three participants on the “pro-life,” side, as they chose to call themselves, are all observant Catholics from Boston. They made life choices based on a worldview that there is one truth, guided by their faith, about moral rights and wrongs.

In contrast, the women on the “pro-choice” side, as they referred to themselves, said that they recognized a diversity of personal beliefs and weighed many circumstances in making life choices.

“The pro-choice side does not believe there are moral absolutes,” explained one “pro-life” leader who participated in the talks in a confidential research interview in 2008. “The pro-life participants would force others to conduct their lives according to the ‘one’ truth that they believe,” countered a “pro-choice” activist who also engaged in the talks.

Despite this irreconcilable difference, the participants valued their conversations. They enjoyed talking with people with whom they had formerly sparred via news interviews.

Gradually, each side’s negative stereotypes were replaced by greater understanding and respect for their opponents. They also discovered that they enjoyed each other’s company. They grew to be friends, celebrated birthdays together and shared the ups and downs of their lives.

Rehumanizing the fight led to their hoped-for public outcome – the participants toned down their name calling, spoke up loudly for nonviolent means of change and instructed their organizations to treat the people on the other side with respect.

A blue lit room shows five middle aged and older women sitting at the front of an auditorium.

Truth statements and policy

The Boston leaders didn’t try to agree on policy, but in June 2022, a different, small group of 22 residents in Jessamine Country, Kentucky, interested in abortion rights succeeded in doing just that.

They used a guide for how to structure conversations produced by the nonprofit Braver Angels , an organization I volunteer with, that sets out how to find common ground among those with opposing viewpoints . Their aim: create agreements about abortion between conservatives and liberals.

One key to the group’s success was a selection of background readings by abortion-rights and anti-abortion authors that established a shared set of facts about abortion. For instance, there is a strong link between abortion and poverty, in that 3 out of 4 women seeking abortions are poor or low-income.

The Kentucky abortion conversation also focused on a goal everyone could support – reducing unwanted pregnancies and, consequently, abortions. The result was unanimous agreement on two concrete policy recommendations: better, age-appropriate sex education in Kentucky schools, and long-acting reversible contraception that is free of charge for Kentucky residents, modeled after the Colorado contraception program , which reduced abortion rates by 60% and birth rates by 59% among teenagers aged 15-19 from 2009 to 2014.

The participants are now working to communicate their recommendations to state legislators, local pastors, the local health department and the news media.

A woman holds a toddler girl in a pink snowsuit and appears to talk in a heated manner with a middle aged woman wearing glasses and a black jacket.

Beyond these cases

The empathetic dialogue strategies used in Massachusetts and Kentucky may work in the longer term to reduce polarization in other places, too, and build greater consensus on future policy.

Ireland, for example, voted in 2018 to roll back the country’s restrictive abortion law, replacing it with a new constitutional amendment that permits abortion during the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, and later if a woman’s life or health is at risk or the fetus has an abnormality.

Just as the Kentucky group did with their shared readings before they met, Ireland undertook joint fact-finding before the amendment vote, via a 100-person constitutional convention. When it came time to vote, empathetic story sharing played a key role. Nearly 40% of those who voted to remove the abortion prohibition said their vote had been influenced by hearing from a woman about her experience.

These same lessons could apply to abortion in the U.S.

John Wood Jr., chairman of the Republican Party of Los Angeles County, called for the same respectful type of conversation in a story he told in July 2022 about his long-ago teenage girlfriend’s abortion.

“I cannot hate my fellow Americans who have dedicated their lives to either side of this issue,” he wrote. “There is deep humanity on each side of this divide.”

The groups in Massachusetts and Kentucky show that dialogue works. They built personal connections that crossed their respective ideologies, showed respect for different opinions and pushed for change that they could all support.

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Nikki Haley

Remarks delivering a policy speech on abortion in arlington, virginia.

Thank you, Marjorie. And thank you to the Susan B. Anthony List for its tireless work on behalf of innocent children and moms.

My subject today is the conversation around abortion. It's a sensitive topic that deserves our attention. It's one that too many politicians either demagogue or hide from. I won't demagogue or hide from it.

I'm here to speak about it directly and openly. I won't address every possible question or angle. Rather, I aim to start a constructive conversation about where we go from here in our divided country.

Abortion is a deeply personal topic for both women and men. I understand why. Someone's body and someone else's life are not things to be taken lightly, and they should not be politicized. The issue should be addressed with sensitivity and respect, not judgment and hate.

Most people have a story that has brought them to their views about abortion. It could be a personal experience. It could be a trauma that a family member or friend endured. It could be a moral conviction. It could be our concerns for our daughters and their future.

This is my story.

I am pro-life. I am unapologetic and unhesitant about it. Not because the Republican Party tells me to be. But for very personal reasons.

My husband was adopted, and I am reminded of that blessing every day.

Michael's birth parents lived in poverty. His father was an alcoholic and in and out of prison. His mother suffered a traumatic brain injury.

When he was just a few years old, Michael and his siblings were taken from their home. Later, they were put in foster care. It was a rough experience for him.

Thankfully, when he was four, a loving family adopted Michael and his younger sister. It changed their lives. Adoption literally saved them.

Every day is a blessing because someone gave him life. Every day is a blessing because a family loved and raised him under difficult circumstances. The world is better because of Michael Haley. He's an amazing father and husband. He's a combat veteran who served our country in war. He continues to help adoption and at-risk youth causes because he wants to help others who were born in his situation.

I often think about what would have happened if Michael hadn't been so blessed … if his biological mother had chosen a different path.

My husband is reason number one that I stand for life. Every day I get to spend with the love of my life reminds me that I am blessed that someone saved his life.

The second reason is that Michael and I struggled to have children of our own.

I had many challenges as a teenager into my college years. I went through numerous surgeries. When Michael and I were married, I couldn't wait to be a mom. But what happened so easily for many of my friends was not my path. We went through countless sessions of fertility treatments.

Every day I wake up and see or speak to my two children I feel blessed. The greatest job I will ever have is being their mom.

Our eldest got married just ten days ago. I will never forget the day she was born and then seeing her walk down the wedding aisle with her dad. I felt what countless parents feel. Love. Pride. Overpowering joy.

I believe every life is a blessing from God. My heart hurts when someone decides not to go through with a pregnancy.

My record on abortion is long and clear.

As a state legislator, I voted for every pro-life bill that came before me.

We made it easier for women to get ultrasounds.

We required a 24-hour wait before abortions.

As Governor, we passed the Born Alive Infant Protection Act, protecting babies born during botched abortions.

I signed a law protecting unborn babies from the moment they can feel pain.

We also launched initiatives that paired thousands of vulnerable first-time moms with nurses who had specialized training in maternal and child health.

I kept up the fight as ambassador to the United Nations.

And I'm not done yet.

My goal as president will be the same as when I was Governor and Ambassador.

I want to save as many lives and help as many moms as possible.

This mission has become more urgent in the past year.

With the Supreme Court's Dobbs decision, we entered a new era. It's really a return to the way this issue was decided in our country for nearly two centuries.

Until 1973, abortion was not a federal issue. Each state decided where it stood. Many had restrictive laws. Some had more permissive laws.

Yes, the issue was controversial, but the citizens of each state reached a consensus that reflected their values.

Then, in 1973, the Supreme Court changed that. It declared the entire nation must follow one standard. A standard determined not by the American people, but by unelected judges. And that standard was among the most liberal in the world.

Overnight, 46 states saw their abortion laws thrown out. State-level consensus was replaced with a national mandate that much of the country found deeply offensive.

Last year, the Court returned power to the American people. We are now free to forge consensus once again.

In the past year, we've started to see what that looks like.

Some states have passed laws protecting life. I commend them for it.

Other states have doubled down on abortion. I wish that weren't the case, but it is.

Different people in different places are taking different paths. That's what the founders of our country envisioned. It's the reality of living in a democracy.

But it's equally true that in a democracy, things can change. Tomorrow can be better than today. And I believe we will make even more progress in the cause of life.

That is the challenge we face as pro-life advocates – to move America toward life.

I said I want to save as many lives and help as many moms as possible. That is my goal. To do that at the federal level, the next president must find national consensus.

That might sound strange to many people.

Under Roe, consensus was replaced by demonization. And let's be honest: most in the media promote demonization. They stoke division pitting Americans against each other.

No one talks about finding consensus. Everyone goes to the barricades and attacks the other side.

They've turned a sensitive issue that has long divided people into a kind of gotcha bidding war.

How many weeks are you for? How many exceptions are you for? And so on. But these questions miss the point if the goal is saving as many lives as possible.

You don't save any lives if you can't enact your position into law. And you can't do that unless you find consensus.

Reaching consensus starts with humanizing, not demonizing. Just like I have my story, I respect everyone who has their story. I don't judge someone who is pro-choice any more than I want them to judge me for being pro-life.

Today, each state is finding its own consensus, as they should.

Nationally, however, the task is much harder. As a practical matter, you only achieve consensus when you have a House majority, a 60-vote Senate majority, and a president who are all in alignment.

We are nowhere close to reaching that point. Today, there are around 45 pro-life senators, depending on how you count them. There haven't been 60 Republican senators since 1910. It could happen one day. But it hasn't happened in over a hundred years, and it's unlikely to happen soon.

We have to face this reality. The pro-life laws that have passed in strongly Republican states will not be approved at the federal level.

That's just a fact, notwithstanding what the Democrat fearmongers say. They say Republicans are about to ban all abortions nationwide and send women to prison. These wildly false claims, amplified by a sympathetic media, are not designed to do anything other than score political points.

They know as well as anyone that no Republican president will have the ability to ban abortion nationwide, just as no Democratic president can override the laws of all fifty states. It's just not going to happen.

But that does not mean we can't save as many lives as possible.

I do believe there is a federal role on abortion. Whether we can save more lives nationally depends entirely on doing what no one has done to date – finding consensus. That's what I will strive to do.

In fact, I believe common ground already exists.

There is broad public agreement that babies born during a failed abortion deserve to live. They need medical care and the full protection of the law, just like every other baby.

There is broad public agreement that we should never pressure moms into having an abortion. They should get support to carry their baby to term. They should be able to get information from pregnancy resource centers – and especially about adoption.

We must do better when it comes to adoption, to make it easier for adoptive parents, and to avoid children growing up in a government system with too little love.

We can broadly agree that pro-life doctors and nurses should never be forced to violate their beliefs. The right of conscience matters just as much as the right to life.

Surely, we can all agree that abortion up until the time of birth is a bridge too far. Only seven countries on earth allow elective late-term abortions. We're talking brutal regimes like Communist China and North Korea.

We should be able to agree that contraception should be more available, not less.

And we can all agree that women who get abortions should not be jailed. A few have even called for the death penalty. That's the least pro-life position I can possibly imagine.

Those are just some areas where national consensus is already within reach. There are others too, and we should do the hard work to find them through heartfelt dialogue.

Sadly, finding consensus is the last thing on the mind of many of today's political and media class.

Conflict makes for good fundraising copy and scary TV ads. Consensus doesn't get a lot of ratings or clicks.

Hating and judging each other has become the norm instead of respecting one's personal story.

I would remind those on the Left who demonize anyone who is pro-life, that it was not too long ago when President Bill Clinton said he wanted abortion to be "safe, legal, and rare."

Few Democrats say "rare" anymore.

Just the opposite. Many want legal abortion anytime, for any reason, at any stage of pregnancy, in every state and town in America.

Some radical activists are even lighting pregnancy resource centers on fire. These are not the voices of consensus. They are acts of division and hatred.

President Biden has done nothing to discourage it. In fact, he promotes it. That's not leadership. It's more partisanship of the worst kind.

Pro-life political leaders and candidates must not put up with being demonized. We should call out the extremism of the Left.

We don't need a president who endangers lives while dividing our country even more. We need a president who unites Americans and brings out the best in them, even on the toughest of subjects.

That will be my approach as president. I believe in conversation.

I believe in compassion.

I believe in empathy, not anger.

We're not just talking about policy here. We're talking about people.

That's often lost in this debate, on the left and the right. But it's front of mind for me.

I acknowledge the humanity of both the unborn baby and the pregnant mom.

I know how hard pregnancy can be.

Some days, you're so sick you can't get out of bed. You worry if you're really up for raising a baby. And you know you're going to need a lot of help.

That's what I felt during my pregnancies. Many women have it much harder. I desperately wanted a child. I had a loving family eager to help out. But some moms never wanted to be pregnant at all. Some are single with no one to help – with no idea how to raise a baby while keeping a job.

I had a friend who was raped. I know the anguish she went through worrying that she would have an unwanted pregnancy. It was an anguish I wouldn't wish on anyone.

We can't ignore the fears those women face.

I will never downplay these difficulties as I fight for life. And I won't demonize those who disagree with me.

We can't give into outrage culture and accuse our opponents of being evil. That's self- defeating.

If we want to protect more moms and save more babies, we need more Americans to join with us. We must persuade people and find consensus, not push them further away.

I know we can do it.

I've done it before.

Eight years ago, when I was governor, I encountered the most difficult challenge of my life.

A sick and twisted young man walked into Mother Emanuel Church, in Charleston. He joined a bible study of African Americans, sat and prayed with them for over an hour, then opened fire. He murdered nine amazing souls. He openly said he did it because of the color of their skin.

In the awful days that followed, photos emerged of the killer posing with the Confederate Flag. Amid our grief, a massive debate broke out. It centered on the Confederate Flag that flew on the grounds of the South Carolina statehouse.

Our state had been bitterly divided on the flag for decades. On one side were those who wanted to tear it down. On the other side were those who wanted to keep the flag. Both were united in sadness over the Mother Emanuel murders. But they were divided about what the flag meant, and what taking it down would mean.

The debate was intense. People wondered if South Carolina would break out in violence and destruction like what we had recently seen in Ferguson, Missouri and other places.

But we didn't.

In that fraught moment, I gave a speech. I said, quote:

"For many people in our state, the flag stands for traditions that are noble — traditions of history, of heritage and of ancestry… At the same time, for many others in South Carolina, the flag is a deeply offensive symbol of a brutally oppressive past. As a state, we can survive, as we have done, while still being home to both of those viewpoints. We do not need to declare a winner and loser."

And so, I said, it was time to remove the Confederate Flag from the statehouse grounds.

This was no easy task. It was a highly emotional issue in our state. And removal required a two-thirds vote in both our State House and Senate.

But several days later, large, diverse, and bipartisan majorities in our state legislature voted to bring down the flag.

We found consensus on a very tough issue. Republicans and Democrats worked together and made progress by talking to each other like human beings. We saw past our differences, and united to move forward, as one state and one people.

What was true then, with the flag, can be true now, with abortion.

This shouldn't be about one movement winning, and another one losing.

This shouldn't be about picking sides, scoring points, or stoking outrage.

It's about saving babies and supporting moms.

I am fighting for all of them, and I will work with anyone to do that.

I have faith we can make progress. I have faith we can save more lives, and give every baby, mother, and family the best shot at the best life.

Our national history should give us hope.

Time and again, the American people have confronted great wrongs, and worked hard to convince their fellow citizens to make them right.

Think back to the abolitionists. They spent the better part of a century striving to end our original sin of slavery.

Think back to the suffragettes. It took them even longer to secure the support of their fellow citizens for women's right to vote.

Think back to the leaders of the civil rights movement. Their tireless work showed America that segregation was wrong, and equality was right.

Think about the progress we're already making in the restoration of the right to life. Fifty years ago, a court forced unlimited abortion on an unwilling nation.

Millions of Americans responded – not with rage, but with resolve.

They reminded our fellow citizens about the humanity of the unborn child and the needs of pregnant mothers.

Now that power has been restored to the people. Let us treat it as the important and deeply personal issue it is. Let's discuss it in ways that allow Americans to show love for one another, not judgment or contempt. And let's find a consensus that allows us to save as many babies as we can while supporting women in difficult situations.

I am ready for the hard work that lies ahead. And I'm confident we can move together, toward our founding promise of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all.

Thank you. God bless you. And God bless America.

Nikki Haley, Remarks Delivering a Policy Speech on Abortion in Arlington, Virginia Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/360587

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Harris Emerges as the Voice of Abortion Rights in the Biden Administration

The threat to Roe v. Wade presents Vice President Kamala Harris with an opportunity to recover from early political stumbles.

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By Michael D. Shear and Alisha Haridasani Gupta

WASHINGTON — With three words last week, Vice President Kamala Harris inserted herself forcefully into the roiling debate over abortion rights — and may have finally seized on an issue that is popular among key Democratic voters, plays to her strengths and is central to the future of her party.

“How dare they?” she demanded.

Her question — delivered more as a statement of outrage — came in a speech to Emily’s List, an abortion rights group, just hours after the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion indicating that at least five of the court’s conservative justices were prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade. That would eliminate the constitutional right to privacy that has guaranteed access to abortion for women for more than half a century.

“How dare they tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her own body?” Ms. Harris said at the gala in Washington, D.C. “How dare they try to stop her from determining her own future? How dare they try to deny women their rights and their freedoms?”

Since then, Ms. Harris, the first female vice president and the former top prosecutor in California, has been among the most outspoken abortion rights voices in the Biden administration. In a commencement speech over the weekend, she decried living in an “unsettled world” where Americans are forced to defend “the rights of women to make decisions about their own body.” On Wednesday, she presided over the Senate as Republicans blocked a Democratic attempt to write Roe’s abortion protections into law.

And on Thursday, Ms. Harris continued to speak out against the draft opinion during a small, on-the-record discussion with reporters who cover gender and women’s issues.

“All Americans should realize that this is a direct assault on the freedom of women. And it is an attack that can affect all Americans,” she told the reporters. “There are some extremist Republican leaders who clearly want to punish and criminalize women. And you have to look no further than some of the laws that have already been passed to know that it’s true.”

Ms. Harris urged people to “understand their power” in ending the careers of politicians who oppose abortion rights.

“I would urge folks to vote for pro-choice candidates at a local, state and federal level,” she said. “There is, at this moment, a time for education, a time for communication and mobilization.”

The threat to abortion rights presents Ms. Harris an opportunity to recover from early political stumbles during her first year in office, including becoming entangled in two of the most difficult debates: immigration and voting rights. President Biden deputized Ms. Harris to take the lead on those subjects, both of which are mired in controversy and delay.

Now, Ms. Harris has a chance to become the voice of the administration on a subject which is complicated for her boss.

Mr. Biden, a lifelong Catholic, was opposed to Roe in the early days of his career and has only later come to embrace abortion rights. But he remains an unlikely champion of the issue. He issued a forceful statement after the draft opinion was revealed by Politico last week. But up to that point he had never said the word “abortion” aloud as president.

By contrast, Ms. Harris has taken several opportunities to be outspoken about the prospect that the court would overturn Roe. Aides to the vice president say she intends to lean into the topic even more aggressively over the next several weeks, as the court gets closer to issuing a final ruling on the case, expected in late June.

Some women’s rights organizations said the potentially historic moment could either make or break her legacy as vice president.

“This is the type of moment that creates leaders, so in my mind I think the question every leader should be asking themselves is where did they want to be? Where were they when this happened?” said Fatima Goss Graves, president of the National Women’s Law Center. “I would hope that everyone in the White House is raising their hand to be engaged.”

For others, the fact that Ms. Harris has stepped into a leadership void is an uncomfortable reminder that she doesn’t have much authority to set in motion any policy proposals. As vice president, she, too, has avoided saying the word abortion and has mostly toed the line of the White House and other Democratic leaders, putting the onus of action on voters, noted Renee Bracey Sherman, founder and executive director of the reproductive-justice group We Testify.

“I wonder how much space she is actually being given to be the best abortion-access champion she could be,” Ms. Bracey Sherman added. “Black women are asking you to do something. To then have a Black woman be the face of the lack of leadership — that feels really frustrating.”

Ms. Harris has a long history of focusing on issues that are of particular importance to women. She served as a district attorney in California, and later as attorney general of the state. In her brief career in the United States Senate, Ms. Harris introduced legislation that focused on improving maternal health. Last fall, Ms. Harris welcomed a group of abortion rights activists and abortion providers for a discussion at the White House.

On May 3, Ms. Harris was already scheduled to speak at the Emily’s List dinner. But 24 hours earlier, Politico published the draft opinion. Aides said the tone of the speech completely changed as Ms. Harris sat with her speechwriters to rewrite her remarks.

During the course of those conversations, Ms. Harris repeatedly expressed outrage and surprise at the idea that a majority of the justices would end Roe, asking her aides: “How could they?” and “How dare they?” Her speechwriters urged her to include that phrase in her remarks to the group that night, according to aides.

On Wednesday, the vice president’s role at the Senate was purely ceremonial; nobody expected a close vote that would require her to break a tie.

But she appeared on the Senate dais in a symbolic show of support by the White House. After the vote ended, she took one question from a reporter as a cue to deliver a brief statement about the importance of the midterm elections.

“This vote clearly suggests that the Senate is not where the majority of Americans are on this issue,” she said. “A priority for all that care about this issue — the priority — should be to elect pro-choice leaders.”

Ms. Harris ignored questions about a narrower, alternative proposal put forward by Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska that also seeks to codify Roe v. Wade, before departing from the Capitol in her motorcade.

Mark Buell, one of Ms. Harris’s earliest fund-raisers since her first race for district attorney in San Francisco, said up until now the Biden administration had not taken full advantage of Ms. Harris’s legal experience when defining her role. He said putting her at the forefront could mark a turning point for the vice president and present an opportunity for her to galvanize Mr. Biden’s supporters.

“This is a positive area she has a deep understanding of,” Mr. Buell said. “And the White House should take advantage of her understanding.”

Annie Karni and Zolan Kanno-Youngs contributed reporting.

Michael D. Shear is a veteran White House correspondent and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner who was a member of team that won the Public Service Medal for Covid coverage in 2020. He is the co-author of “Border Wars: Inside Trump's Assault on Immigration.” More about Michael D. Shear

Alisha Haridasani Gupta is a gender reporter covering politics, business, technology, health and culture through the gender lens. She writes the In Her Words newsletter. More about Alisha Haridasani Gupta

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A High School Teen’s Powerful Graduation Speech About Abortion Rights Is Going Viral

By Christopher Rosa

A High School Teen's Powerful Graduation Speech About Abortion Rights Is Going Viral

Paxton Smith, the 2021 valedictorian of Lake Highlands High School in Dallas, gave an impassioned graduation speech about abortion rights that's going viral. 

For those unfamiliar with what's happening in Texas: The state's governor, Greg Abbott, just signed into law the “heartbeat bill,” which, per The Texas Tribune , bans abortions as early as six weeks into a pregnancy, when most women don't even realize they're expecting. 

Smith had originally planned to talk about television and media during her speech but instead used the platform to shed light on the “heartbeat bill.” 

“In light of recent events, it feels wrong to talk about anything but what is currently affecting me and millions of other women in this state,” Smith said, per Vox . “Starting in September, there will be a ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, regardless of whether the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest. Six weeks. That’s all women get.”

According to Vox, the “heartbeat bill” not only bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy but allows people to sue anyone who “aids and abets” one of these illegal procedures. 

Smith's speech has exploded on TikTok, racking up more than 210,000 views. It was reposted to Twitter, where it's been viewed more than 2 million times. “In Texas, Lake Highlands High School valedictorian, Paxton Smith, switched out her approved speech to talk about abortion rights,” the tweet reads. 

This content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.

According to Advocate magazine, a local Highlands publication, Smith's decision to change her speech on the fly was not supported by her school district. “The content of each student speaker’s message is the private, voluntary expression of the individual student and does not reflect the endorsement, sponsorship, position, or expression of the District or its employees,” RISD school board president Karen Clardy said. “What the student did was unexpected and not supported by LHHS or RISD. We are going to review student speech protocols in advance of next year’s graduations to prevent something like this from happening again.”

That being said, Smith's father, Russell, fully supported her actions. “It was something that she felt was important, and she had the nerve, determination, and boldness to put herself out there and say her piece,” he said, according to Advocate . “So few people demonstrate this level of maturity and poise, regardless of age.”

Read her full speech, according to Advocate magazine, below: 

As we leave high school we need to make our voices heard. I was going to get up here and talk to you about TV and content and media because those are things that are very important to me. However, in light of recent events, it feels wrong to talk about anything but what is currently affecting me and millions of other women in this state.

Recently the heartbeat bill was passed in Texas. Starting in September, there will be a ban on abortions that take place after six weeks of pregnancy, regardless of whether the pregnancy was a result of rape or incest. Six weeks. Most women don’t even realize they’re pregnant by then. And so, before they have the time to decide if they are emotionally, physically, and financially stable enough to carry out a full-term pregnancy, before they have the chance to decide if they can take on the responsibility of bringing another human into the world, the decision has been made for them by a stranger. A decision that will affect the rest of their lives.

I have dreams, hopes, and ambitions. Every girl here does. We have spent our whole lives working towards our futures, and without our consent or input, our control over our futures has been stripped away from us. I am terrified that if my contraceptives fail me, that if I’m raped, then my hopes and efforts and dreams for myself will no longer be relevant. I hope you can feel how gut-wrenching it is, how dehumanizing it is, to have the autonomy over your own body taken from you.

And I’m talking about this today, on a day as important as this, on a day honoring the students’ efforts in 12 years of schooling, on a day where we’re all brought together, on a day where you will be the most inclined to hear a voice like mine, a woman’s voice, to tell you that this is a problem. A problem that can’t wait. I refuse to give up this platform to promote complacency and peace, when there is a war on my body and a war on my rights. A war on the rights of your sisters, a war on the rights of your mothers, a war on the rights of your daughters.

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Why It’s So Important That an Arizona State Senator Is Speaking Out About Needing an Abortion

It’s notable when people in positions of power are clear about the prevalence of and need for abortion care..

“I wish I could tell you otherwise, but after numerous ultrasounds and blood draws, we have determined that my pregnancy is once again not progressing, and is not viable. And once again, I have scheduled an appointment to terminate my pregnancy. … My experiences in this space, both as a provider and as a patient, have led me to believe that this legislature has failed the people of Arizona.” —Arizona state Sen. Eva Burch

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Abortion has always been a fact of life. People in all occupations and walks of life need and seek abortion care. Arizona state Senator Eva Burch’s decision to  share  her need for abortion care while holding elected office in a state whose legislature and courts are grappling with abortion laws emphasizes that the personal is political. It also creates a powerful contrast between the relentless attempts by the anti-abortion movement to impose their worldview on the entire country and the many ways that people across the nation are fighting back—by sharing their stories, helping others get care, voting for abortion rights, and finding ways to overcome enormous obstacles to get an abortion. 

Senator Burch is not alone. New data from the Guttmacher Institute  shows an increase in abortions , with more people accessing abortion care in 2023 than any other year in the last decade. This may seem counterintuitive given the current landscape, where  abortion is banned in 14 states  following the June 2022  Dobbs  decision that overturned  Roe v. Wade . But these increases may in part be a testament to the enduring determination of people to seek the reproductive healthcare they need—like Senator Burch is now doing.

We also know that sometimes the burdens imposed on people who need abortions are too great to bear, leaving people unable to obtain care in the formal healthcare system or be forced to continue their pregnancies.  

While the Arizona Supreme Court considers whether to let a total abortion ban go into effect, accessing abortion care there already requires patients make two separate trips, receive biased counseling, and get an ultrasound even if not medically necessary.

The 25 percent increase in abortion numbers in states without total bans was made possible by a combination of factors, including state policies and programs to expand abortion access, the herculean efforts of abortion funds and support networks who help people navigate bans, and expanded access to telemedicine for medication abortion. And we cannot underestimate the resiliency of abortion seekers themselves who know what is best for their health and lives. Our data shows huge increases in the number of people that traveled out of state for care—from 81,000 in 2020 to more than 160,000 in 2023 .  

Senator Burch, in her touching speech, reminded us that as harmful as abortion bans are, other kinds of restrictions also impact patient care. While the Arizona Supreme Court considers whether to let a total abortion ban go into effect,  accessing abortion care there already requires  patients make two separate trips, receive biased counseling, and get an ultrasound even if not medically necessary. The state’s Medicaid program does not cover abortion care, and people under 18 are required to get a parent’s permission. The list of onerous restrictions that do nothing to improve health outcomes goes on—the goal has always been to deter and dissuade people from seeking care.   

Even states that have already banned abortion continue to find new ways to further stigmatize and restrict this basic healthcare. States like North Dakota want to  force high school students to view misleading videos  created by anti-abortion organizations while others are trying to limit our most basic rights by making it harder for people to leave their state to access legal abortion elsewhere. Four states introduced laws this year that would criminalize non-parent adults for supporting a young person who travels out of state for abortion care, modeled after an  Idaho law  passed last year currently not in effect. 

Senator Burch also generously shared the larger context of her abortion story, which—as all abortion experiences—is part of a series of reproductive health needs and decisions she has faced. As the shocking Alabama Supreme Court ruling calling the legality of IVF into question recently showed us, the attacks on abortion are about more than abortion and impact the full spectrum of reproductive healthcare,  including contraception and IVF . 

Senator Burch’s bravery follows in the footsteps of other elected officials who have shared their stories, from Texas state Sen.  Wendy Davis  to Reps. Pramila Jayapal  (D-Wash.) and  Cori Bush (D-Mo.). It’s notable when people in positions of power are clear about the prevalence of and need for abortion care. It underscores that anyone who needs an abortion should be able to get timely, compassionate, and affordable abortion care  in their community.  This is especially true for those already marginalized by systemic racism and economic insecurity who are disproportionately impact by bans and restrictions. 

The ongoing threats to our fundamental bodily autonomy continue in states across the country and, once again, at the U.S. Supreme Court. On Tuesday, March 26, the Court will hear a baseless case that could restrict mifepristone, one of two drugs used in the most common medication abortion regimen . Through personal stories and data, we are reminded not just that abortion is basic healthcare needed by people in all communities, but that the anti-abortion movement will stop at nothing until there is a nationwide ban on abortion. 

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They Never Deserved to Be Called ‘Pro-Life’

U.S. democracy is at a dangerous inflection point—from the demise of abortion rights, to a lack of pay equity and parental leave, to skyrocketing maternal mortality, and attacks on trans health. Left unchecked, these crises will lead to wider gaps in political participation and representation. For 50 years, Ms . has been forging feminist journalism—reporting, rebelling and truth-telling from the front-lines, championing the Equal Rights Amendment, and centering the stories of those most impacted. With all that’s at stake for equality, we are redoubling our commitment for the next 50 years. In turn, we need your help, Support Ms . today with a donation—any amount that is meaningful to you . For as little as $5 each month , you’ll receive the print magazine along with our e-newsletters, action alerts, and invitations to Ms . Studios events and podcasts . We are grateful for your loyalty and ferocity .

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Supreme Court Is Considering Nationwide Restrictions on Most Common Abortion Method: Medication Abortion

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Adams Delivers Floor Speech Supporting Abortion Rights

Rep. Alma Adams speaking on the House Floor

The speech comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s holding in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, which overturned the long-standing precedent established by Roe v. Wade.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 15, 2022) – This morning, Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) delivered a speech on the floor of the United States House of Representatives in support of the Women’s Health Protection Act , which would codify a right to reproductive freedom and abortion care into law. The legislation comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s holding in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization , which overturned the long-standing precedent established by Roe v. Wade .

Video of the speech is available on C-SPAN here .

“I rise today because I’m pretty damn angry,” said Adams. “The Supreme Court’s decision overturning the right to abortion care is fundamentally wrong. The Supreme Court greenlit forced pregnancy, taking away the right to bodily autonomy for women. Abortion is still health care, and people will still need to access it. That’s why I’m supporting the Women’s Health Protection Act .”

Adams’ remarks as prepared for delivery are below:

I rise today because I’m angry. The Supreme Court’s decision overturning the right to abortion care is fundamentally wrong.

The Supreme Court greenlit forced pregnancy, taking away the right to bodily autonomy from women. However, abortion is still health care, and people will still need to access it.

That’s why I’m supporting the Women’s Health Protection Act.

In the wake of the Dobbs decision, we have a state-by-state patchwork that denies women equal protection under the law. While abortion is still legal in my home of North Carolina, the State of Texas is suing the government to compel women to carry pregnancies to term, even if it kills the mother. The Attorney General of Indiana wants to force rape victims – even 10 year old girls – to carry pregnancies to term.

We have a responsibility to stop this draconian overreach by state governments. We must make reproductive freedom the law of the land.

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Pregnant Arizona lawmaker shares fight to get abortion, highlighting ‘cruel’ laws

Eva Burch, who gave 10-minute speech on state senate floor, may be first pregnant state lawmaker to detail plans since fall of Roe

When Eva Burch learned that her pregnancy was not progressing and decided to have an abortion, Burch and her husband quickly made another decision: Burch, who is a Democratic state senator in Arizona , was going to speak up about it – from the floor of the state senate.

On Monday, as her voice shook and a group of women surrounded her, Burch gave a 10-minute speech about her decision and the struggle to navigate Arizona’s “coercive” maze of abortion restrictions. With her speech, Burch joined the ranks of women who have spoken out since the fall of Roe v Wade about their battles to get abortions even for nonviable pregnancies.

Yet Burch, who was still pregnant when she spoke on the floor as well as during an interview, is believed to be the first pregnant state lawmaker to go into such detail about her plans to get an abortion since Roe’s demise.

“If I can take this sad situation that I find myself in and make it actionable, help get people engaged, help people to turn out to vote, help people to care about this and to pay attention to their local governments – where so many of these decisions are being made – then it’s worth it to me,” Burch said. “In spite of the tragedy of it.”

Burch, who has two young sons, has experienced infertility for years. She was not trying to get pregnant – but when she discovered she was, Burch and her husband were happy and hopeful.

That happiness would dissolve as tests revealed Burch’s pregnancy was not advancing and would end in a miscarriage, Burch said. She had experienced a miscarriage two years earlier and knew immediately she would prefer to have an abortion.

Arizona bans abortion after 15 weeks , without exceptions for rape or incest. Burch was well below that limit, but still, she said, she had to overcome an obstacle course to get care.

Arizona law mandates that patients visit an abortion clinic for counseling 24 hours before undergoing the procedure. Although Burch said she had already received an ultrasound and did not need another, she said she still had to undergo a transvaginal ultrasound, which involves inserting a wand into a patient’s vagina. State law also required Burch’s provider to read a statement to her about alternatives to abortion.

“Some of the statements read to me, for example, advised me that there are alternatives to abortion, including adoption or parenting, which in my case is particularly unfair and unkind and cruel, since parenting is an option I would love to take on,” Burch said. “The intent is clear: they don’t want to make sure that it is accurate and appropriate care. They want patients to make a different decision. They want patients to make a decision that the legislators feel more comfortable with.”

Notably, Arizona’s abortion laws remain up in the air. In 1864, before Arizona became a state, its territorial government enacted a near-total abortion ban that only permits abortions to save a patient’s life. While Roe was the law of the land, that ban went dormant; in 2022, legislators passed the 15-week abortion ban, which Roe also blocked from taking effect.

When Roe fell, confusion broke out over whether the near-total ban or the 15-week ban was in effect; amid the chaos, all abortion providers in the state temporarily shut down as courts warred over the two bans. The state supreme court is now weighing whether to reinstate the near-total ban .

Burch was nearly caught up in that upheaval. In June 2022, she became pregnant with another nonviable pregnancy and scheduled an abortion. The night before, Burch recalled, she started to bleed heavily and went to the emergency department. There, she learned that providers could no longer detect any activity from the tissue that would – in a healthy pregnancy – ultimately become a heart. But a doctor there refused to perform an abortion because, Burch said, she was not bleeding heavily enough.

“They had offered to give me some medication to make me start bleeding again and said if I bled enough, I could have had a procedure there in the hospital,” said Burch, who is also a nurse practitioner and has worked in a women’s health clinic. “That sounded awful.”

Instead, she underwent her abortion at a clinic the next day.

Burch’s ordeal unfolded just two weeks before the US supreme court overturned Roe and Arizona clinics shut down.

“Had the situation taken place two weeks later, I wouldn’t have been able to go access that care,” Burch said. “If I had needed to have an abortion, I would have had to leave the state to do it.”

She continued: “This time around, I knew what to expect. I went in there eyes wide open. But it doesn’t make it any easier. The laws here are not going to become palatable here because patients know what’s coming. We just deserve better care than what we’re getting.”

Abortion-rights supporters in Arizona are now gathering signatures for a ballot measure that would enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution. Advocates in roughly a dozen states are hoping to put abortion rights on the ballot come November; so far, every time Americans have directly voted on post-Roe abortion rights, abortion-rights supporters have won.

Because Arizona is an anticipated swing state in the 2024 elections, the push for the ballot measure – which Democrats also hope will boost turnout amid lackluster support for Joe Biden – is sure to attract nationwide attention.

“I absolutely hope that by sharing my story,” Burch said, “we can move the needle for voters in November.”

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Joe Biden’s State of the Union speech calls out the ‘power of women in America’

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Good morning, Broadsheet readers! OpenAI CTO Mira Murati reportedly played a role in CEO Sam Altman’s brief ouster, Abercrombie & Fitch logs sales growth by focusing on professional women, and Biden’s State of the Union calls for the restoration of abortion rights. Happy International Women’s Day from the newsletter that celebrates women year-round. – Hot topic. In an election year State of the Union address last night, President Joe Biden highlighted a key demographic: women. In a segment devoted to abortion, Biden told Americans that “those bragging about overturning  Roe v. Wade ”—including his “predecessor”—“have no clue about the power of women in America.”

The lengthy segment devoted to abortion rights was a sign that Democrats see abortion as a winning issue at the polls. Abortion opponents “found out” about the “power of women” “when reproductive freedom was on the ballot and won in 2022, 2023, and they will find out again, in 2024,” Biden said.

He called out some of the worst results of abortion bans—“criminalizing doctors and forcing survivors of rape and incest to leave their states as well to get the care they need.”

Biden hammered home his message by inviting Kate Cox , the Texas woman who had to leave the state to end her pregnancy after receiving a fatal fetal diagnosis, to attend the speech. Biden told her story in his annual address. “What her family has gone through should never have happened as well. But it is happening to so many others,” he said.

Another Biden guest was Latorya Beasley, an Alabama woman whose IVF treatments were halted by the state’s decision granting personhood to frozen embryos. The president framed protecting IVF as a bipartisan issue. “To my friends across the aisle, don’t keep families waiting any longer,” he said. “Guarantee the right to IVF nationwide.”

Biden promised to restore Roe as “the law of the land” and said he thought Roe “got it right.” In a forum in which presidents once avoided the word “abortion” at all costs, Biden’s speech is a marker of Democrats’ continued evolution on the issue—even if he only said the word once. The State of the Union is a sign of what’s to come in 2024: Democrats are counting on women to win.

Also… If you’ll be at SXSW this weekend, come check out my conversation on Saturday at 2:30pm CT with three CEOs building companies by women, for women. OnlyFans CEO Keily Blair, Sequel founder Amanda Calabrese, and Togethxr cofounder Jessica Robertson will talk about redefining decision-making in three wildly different male-dominated industries. Hope to see you in Austin!

Emma Hinchliffe [email protected]

The Broadsheet is Fortune’ s newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women. Today’s edition was curated by Joseph Abrams. Subscribe here .


- From the other side. Sen. Katie Britt (R–Ala.), the youngest Republican woman ever elected to the Senate, delivered the GOP rebuttal to Biden's State of the Union from her kitchen. She called Biden “a dithering and diminished leader” who has left families “worse off,” communities “less safe,” and the country “less secure.” Britt, 42, is considered a rising star in the GOP and a potential Donald Trump running mate. New York Times

- Behind the ouster. OpenAI CTO Mira Murati played a key role in the leadup to CEO Sam Altman's brief ouster from the company, The New York Times reports. Murati reportedly brought questions about Altman's leadership to OpenAI's board, although she later publicly backed his return as CEO. After the story was published, Murati reportedly told staff that she “provided feedback” she had already given to Altman to the board when asked. New York Times

- The right fit. Abercrombie & Fitch sales jumped 16% last year and its stock has surged 400% over the past four months amid a new marketing campaign targeting professional women. CMO Carey Collins Krug says tailoring the clothing retailer’s offerings to an aesthetic that includes workout classes, work meetings, and travel has given the company fresh momentum. The Wall Street Journal

- Screen stereotypes. Moms First unveiled a new study alongside Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, and Geena Davis that revealed that moms on TV are still largely underrepresented as family breadwinners. Though TV moms are slightly more diverse than they used to be, Meghan said the study “highlights the gaps we need to fill to achieve true representation in the content we create and consume.”   Vanity Fair

- Making amends. Ireland is voting today to replace clauses in its constitution that describe the role of women and mothers “within the home.” The measure is expected to pass as is another that seeks to add “durable relationships” to the definition of family, including cohabitating couples and their children. Reuters

MOVERS AND SHAKERS: Celsius named Kyle Watson as chief marketing officer. Dentsu appointed Shirli Zelcer to chief data and technology officer. The Verizon Value Organization announced Nancy Clark as president. 


Are you buying what Kylie Jenner is selling? The New York Times

The Pac-12 has a new commissioner. But does it have a future?   The Washington Post

Ronna McDaniel shows why nearly every alliance with Trump eventually frays The Wall Street Journal


“It never occurred to me. I always felt I was going to be able to do something.”

— Veteran actress and comedian Carol Burnett, who says she never felt imposter syndrome in Hollywood

This is the web version of  The Broadsheet , a daily newsletter for and about the world’s most powerful women. Sign up to get it delivered free to your inbox.

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Biden leaned into reproductive freedom in his State of the Union speech — but he didn’t say the word 'abortion'

Image: President Biden Delivers State Of The Union Address

Calls to "Restore Roe" and protect reproductive rights were a cornerstone of President Joe Biden's State of the Union address Thursday night, but there's one thing the speech was missing: the word "abortion."

Groups like the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Reproductive Rights for All lauded Biden for highlighting reproductive rights and inviting Kate Cox , a Texas mom who was denied emergency abortion care and had to travel out of state to receive an abortion, to watch him speak.

But some supporters of abortion rights took issue with the fact that he didn't use the word "abortion" once, even though it was written in his prepared remarks for the evening.

"It was wonderful to see Kate Cox and her story be uplifted and, you know, condemn that she had to leave her state to get an abortion," Kellie Copeland, the executive director of Pro-Choice Ohio, told NBC News. "But then to not say the word? I think it implies that it's taboo, and it's not. It was the health care that she needed. And it's the health care that many women, trans and nonbinary people have every right to."

Jessica Mason Pieklo, the executive editor at Rewire News Group, a news organization focusing on reproductive health care, told NBC News that using the word "abortion" is important to help destigmatize the procedure.

Activists gather at the Supreme Court on April 15, 2023, to protest increasing restrictions on access to abortion and abortion pills.

"I think it was good that abortion got as much airtime in the president's speech that it did," Mason Pieklo said. "But ... the need to say the word abortion from the highest ranks of a Democratic administration is important," he added, "not just for optics, but because it helps tremendously in the destigmatization of abortion as a medical procedure."

Biden, who is Catholic and has said he doesn't personally believe in abortion , has faced scrutiny from women's rights groups for shying away from the term. He didn’t say the word publicly as president until more than a year into his presidency, when Politico published the leaked Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, according to We Testify, an abortion rights group that has been tracking how often Biden says the word “abortion” in his presidency.

Last year, he told attendees at a fundraiser in Maryland: “I’m a practicing Catholic. I’m not big on abortion. But guess what? Roe v. Wade got it right.”

One Biden administration official familiar with the president's State of the Union speech pushed back on claims that he intentionally left the word "abortion" out, saying it's not uncommon for Biden to deviate from prepared remarks.

They also pointed out that reproductive rights was the first domestic issue he addressed in the speech, and that he's spent a lot of his presidency focused on restoring reproductive freedom.

Emma Hernandez, the communications manager for We Testify, which connects and represents women who have had abortions across the U.S., says that Biden still doesn't use the term often enough. "We’re seeing that when he does use the word abortion, sometimes it’s still very stigmatizing," she said.

Hernandez added that Biden is "using language like 'difficult decisions' or, you know, 'a decision no one wants to make,' and that's not reflective of our experiences as people who have had abortions."

Hernandez said that only highlighting women who seek abortions in emergency situations obscures the fact that the majority of women who get abortions do not seek them out for emergency care.

Failing to use the word abortion is also symptomatic of a broader issue, abortion rights activists say — that Biden doesn't have a clear plan to tackle abortion rights beyond calling to "Restore Roe," or go back to the constitutional right to abortion outlined in the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.

Mason Pieklo said that Roe still left states the opportunity to restrict abortion in some ways, creating a patchwork of state-by-state care that got worse after the Supreme Court struck down Roe in 2022.

"That's the central criticism that the Biden administration continues to hear from abortion rights advocates and supporters is that 'Restore Roe' is not actually a path forward. It's a look back to a framework and a policy patchwork that failed more people than it served," she said.

Mason Pieklo added that her group isn't just asking for him to use the term: “We’re asking for a clear plan of action.”

CORRECTION (March 11, 2024, 10:37 p.m. ET): An earlier version of this article misstated where Kellie Copeland works. She is the executive director of Pro-Choice Ohio, not Ohioans United for Reproductive Rights.

write a speech on abortion

Alexandra Marquez is a politics reporter for NBC News.

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Remarks by Vice President Harris During the “Fight for Reproductive Freedoms” Tour | Savannah,   GA

Savannah Civic Center Savannah, Georgia

1:26 P.M. EST THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, Savannah.  Good afternoon.  Oh, it is good to be back in Georgia.  Thank you all. Let — can we please give it up for President McDonald and all of your work — (applause) — and your leadership.  Truly.  And I want to thank you for all of your courage and your tireless work.

Mr. Mayor, where are you?  He was — there is — there is our mayor.  He — he greeted me on the tarmac when I landed on Air Force Two.  (Applause.)  He has been such a friend to our administration and a great national leader.  And, Mayor, I want to thank you for your powerful leadership of this great city.  Thank you.  (Applause.)  Thank you. And I know they’re working hard in Washington, but I want to recognize Senator Raphael Warnock — (applause) — and Senator Jon Ossoff.  (Applause.)  They’re in D.C. today for votes, but I will say, Georgia, you have two extraordinary senators.  (Applause.)  And they are always fighting on behalf of the people of this state. And to all of the leaders who are here — and there are so many — I want to thank all of you for the work that you do to — to uphold one of our nation’s highest and most important ideals.  And that is the ideal of freedom.  Freedom. Freedom is fundamental to the promise of America — to the promise of America.  Freedom of speech.  Freedom of worship.  Freedom of assembly.  The freedom to vote.  In America, freedom is not to be given.  It is not to be bestowed.  It is ours by right.  (Applause.)  By right.   And that includes the freedom to make decisions about one’s own body and not have the government — (applause) — telling people what to do.  Fifty-one years ago, in the case of Roe vs. Wade, the United States Supreme Court recognized the fundamental constitutional right to reproductive freedom.  And for nearly half a century, Americans relied on the freedoms protected by Roe.  However, 19 months ago, the highest court in our land — the court of Thurgood and RBG — (applause) — right? — took a constitutional right that had been recognized from the people of America, from the women of America.  And now, we must speak of Roe in the past tense. AUDIENCE:  Booo — THE VICE PRESIDENT:  In states across our nation, extremists have proposed and passed laws that criminalize doctors and punish women.  Laws that threaten doctors and nurses with prison time, including right here in Georgia, even for life — in some states, prison for life — simply for providing healthcare.  Laws that in some states make no exception even for rape and incest.  AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Now, I know it’s a difficult conversation to have, but we need to face reality.  Right?

As many of us know, and many of you may know —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible.)


THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — I started —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Shame on you!  You’re committing genocide!  You’re committing genocide!  (Inaudible.)

AUDIENCE:  Kamala!  Kamala!  Kamala!



THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you all.  Thank you.  Thank you all.

And we know, in a healthy democracy, we value the freedom of all people to be heard.  And — but right now, we are talking about a different issue, and that is the issue of what has happened to the women and people of America as a result of the Dobbs decision.  (Applause.) So, as I was saying, no exception even for rape or incest.  And we must have difficult conversations about what that means.    As many of you know, I started my career as a prosecutor specializing in crimes of violence against women and children.  (Applause.)  But what many of you may not know is why.  So, when I was in high school, one of my best friends, I learned, was being molested by her stepfather.  And when I learned, I said to her, “You got to — you got to come and stay with us.”  And I called my mother, and my mother said, “Of course she has to come and stay with us.”  And she did.  So, the idea that someone who survives a crime of violence, a violation to their body, would then be told they don’t have the authority to decide what happens to their body next, that’s immoral.   And let us all agree: One does not have to abandon their faith or deeply held beliefs to agree the government should not be telling her what to do with her body.  (Applause.)   If she chooses, she will consult with her pastor, her priest, her rabbi, her imam.  But it should not be the government telling her what to do.  (Applause.) So, this is, in fact, a healthcare crisis.  And in that way, there is nothing about this moment that is hypothetical. Today, in America, more than one in three women of reproductive age live in a state with an abortion ban — one in three women of reproductive age live in a state with an abortion ban, including more than 2 and a half million right here in the state of Georgia. And let us understand what that really means.  Let us understand the horrific reality that women face every single day since the Roe decision was overturned. Folks, I have met women who have had miscarriages in toilets because they were refused care.  I met a woman who went to an emergency room during a miscarriage and was turned away repeatedly because the doctors there were afraid they might be put in jail for helping her.  And it was only at the point that she developed sepsis that she received care. Think about this fact: Of the number of women — and this is — this is difficult to talk about, guys.  I know that.  But this is the reality of what’s happening in our country. 

Of the number of women who became pregnant because of rape since this case came down, it is estimated that tens of thousands are in a state with a complete abortion ban.  Now, think about what that means.  In Georgia, women face a six-week abortion ban — before many women even know they are pregnant.  Which, by the way, tells us these lawmakers e- — either they don’t know how a woman’s body works or they just don’t care.  (Applause.)  And in Georgia, because of the way the law is written, no exception for rape or incest unless they file a police report to get permission — to get permission for an abortion after six weeks.  Permission. So, as a former prosecutor, again, we got to break this down.  Okay?  Here’s what we’re talking about: So, this means she needs to walk into a police department, be questioned by a police officer.  If she lives in a small town, it might be somebody she knows.  And she will be required — after what she’s been through — required to recount the crime even if she don’t want to talk about it.  She will be required to report on someone even though the consequences of that may expose her to more harm, simply because she wants to exercise her right to make a decision about what happens to her body next.  Think about what this means.  And for many of these women, all of this means that, in order to access the care they need, they have to leave Georgia — they have to leave their home; they have to leave their family or friends who might be with them through this moment to give them comfort and care — to travel to a state that protects reproductive freedom.  And understand, there’s only one state in the South without an abortion ban: the state of Virginia.  In the entire South, one — a six-hour drive from here in Savannah. Now, the majority of women, we also know, who have abortions are mothers.  So, again, let’s break down what this means.  For her to travel to receive care, well, God help her if she does not have paid leave or affordable childcare.  (Applause.)  God help her if she does not have the savings necessary to buy a plane, train, or a bus ticket to get where she can receive the care she wants and needs or to book a hotel room.  And, by the way, while these extremists behind these laws say they are motivated by the health and well-being of women and children — (laughter) — while they say that, they have been silent on the crisis of maternal mortality.  (Applause.)  Silent. Georgia has one of the highest rates of maternal mortality in our nation.  Black women are three to four times more likely to die in connection with childbirth than other women.  And the top ten states with the highest rates of maternal mortality all have abortion bans.  The hypocrisy abounds.  So, Georgia, there is profound harm happening in our country because of the state of the law.  The reality in real time across our country is that for every story we hear, there are so many we don’t.  Today, an untold number of women are silently suffering — women who are being judged, who are being made to feel as though they did something wrong, that they should be embarrassed, made to feel alone.  And I say, I do believe that, as a nation, that is not what we stand for.  I do believe that. So, I say to these women: We see you, we see your incredible strength, and we are here with you. And in this healthcare crisis, please do understand who is to blame.  The former President, Donald Trump — (applause) — hand-picked three members of the United States Supreme Court justice because he intended for them to overturn Roe.  He intended for them to take your freedoms.  And it’s a decision he brags about. He said, “Well, for years” — and I’m going to quote — “they were trying to get rid of Roe v. Wade — trying to have it terminated.”  And then — but he said — I quote — “I did it,” he said.  “And I’m proud to have done it,” he said.  He is proud.  Proud that women across our nation are suffering?  Proud that women have been robbed of a fundamental freedom?  Proud that doctors could be thrown in prison — in some cases, for life — for caring for patients?  That young women today have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers?  How dare he.  (Applause.)  How dare he. Understand, the former President is the architect of this healthcare crisis.  And the extremists are not done.  In the United States Congress, extremists tried to pass a national abortion ban to outlaw abortion in every single state.  But what they need to know is that if Congress passes a national abortion ban, President Joe Biden will veto it.  (Applause.)   Because here’s the deal about all of us: We trust women.  We trust women.  We trust women to make decisions about their own body.  We trust women to know what is in their own best interest. 

And, folks, women trust all of us to fight for their rights — (applause) — and to protect their most fundamental freedoms.  And it is going to take all of us.  And it is going to take all of us.  AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We ready! THE VICE PRESIDENT:  And we’re ready.  AUDIENCE MEMBER:  That’s right!  (Inaudible.)


AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Four more years!

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  Four more years! THE VICE PRESIDENT:  I see that.  (Laughs.) AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!  Four more years! THE VICE PRESIDENT:  So, on that point — so, on that point, Joe Biden and I are fighting in court to protect women’s access to medication and emergency care.  We are strengthening patient privacy protections so that medical records stay between a woman and her doctor.  And we are protecting the right of women to travel for abortion care.  And fighting for access to free contraception.  (Applause.)  Yes. And the bottom line is: To truly protect reproductive freedoms, we must restore the protections of Roe.  What the United States Supreme Court took away, Congress can put back in place.  But we must have a majority in the United States Congress who simply agree that the government should not be making those personal decisions for people.  (Applause.)  And when Congress passes a law that puts back in the protections of Roe, Joe Biden will sign it.  (Applause.)   So, again, I say, it’s going to take all of us to get there — everybody here.  And the momentum is on our side.  We are winning.  Since Roe was overturned, every time reproductive freedom has been on the ballot, the people of America have voted for freedom.  From Kansas to California to Kentucky, in Michigan and Montana and Vermont and Ohio — (applause) — the American people have voted for freedom.  And not by a little but by overwhelming majorities.  Proving, also, by the way — and I say that to whichever political pundits might be behind those cameras — (laughter) — proving, also, that it is not a partisan issue.  Tens of millions of Americans, in red states and blue, marched to the polls in defense of fundamental freedoms.  And so, with that, I say, the voice of the people has been heard, and it will be heard. And then I say — and ask, in conclusion: Georgia, are you ready to make your voices heard?  (Applause.) 

Do we trust women?  (Applause.) 

Do we believe in reproductive freedom?  (Applause.) 

Do we believe in the promise of America?  (Applause.) 

And are we ready to fight for it?  (Applause.) And when we fight, we win!  God bless you.  God bless America.  Thank you, all.  (Applause.)                         END            1:44 P.M. EST

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Column: Biden’s big speech didn’t move the needle, nor have rising wages. But these 3 things might

Biden, seen from the shoulders up in a blue suit and tie, points upward as he speaks into two microphones under a clear sky

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Two weeks after President Biden’s State of the Union address, it’s clear the speech hasn’t shifted the presidential race.

Much as they did before the speech, polls show a very close contest: Biden leads by 1 point in a new survey by YouGov for the Economist, former President Trump leads by 1 point in an Ipsos survey for Reuters, the two are tied in the latest from Morning Consult, and so on. And Trump continues to lead by small amounts in most polls of the swing states likely to decide the election.

Should Democrats panic?

No. Speeches seldom move the world, except in movies. State of the Union addresses, in particular, tend to draw viewers who already have their minds made up. Biden’s energetic performance fired up Democratic partisans, but the vast majority of swing voters didn’t watch it.

The greater concern for Biden may be that his job approval numbers haven’t budged, even as rising wages and falling inflation have started to make Americans less gloomy about the economy.

As political scientists John Sides of Vanderbilt University and Michael Tesler of UC Irvine wrote this week, “at this early date, approval ratings actually predict the eventual outcome better than polls do.” Approval of Biden has been mired for most of the last year at about 40% — well into the danger zone.

What might change that? The answers fall into three broad categories: Over the next seven months, voters could begin feeling better about the country; a larger share of them could begin to warm to Biden; or the president could win votes from people who disapprove of him. None of those are guaranteed, but each remains plausible.

US Vice President Kamala Harris, from left, President Joe Biden, and House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican from Louisiana, during a State of the Union address at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, US, on Thursday, March 7, 2024. Election-year politics will increase the focus on Biden's remarks and lawmakers' reactions, as he's stumping to the nation just months before voters will decide control of the House, Senate, and White House. Photographer: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Improving views of the U.S.

I’ve written before about the big disconnect between voters’ negative views of the economy and the positive picture painted by economic statistics. With unemployment near a 50-year low, inflation down and wages up, pessimism has started to abate, but it continues at a level that puzzles a lot of economists.

The most likely explanation is that even though prices have stopped their rapid rise, everyday goods and services — gas, groceries and rent — remain a lot costlier than they were a couple of years ago. Average wages have risen faster than prices over the last year, but many families remain pinched.

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The hope for Democratic strategists is that voters’ negative feelings about the economy result mostly from a time lag — and that memories of the rapid inflation of 2022 and early 2023 will soon fade. And indeed, measures of consumer confidence have improved compared with last year‘s findings, but that has yet to lead to warmer voter assessments of Biden.

A similar argument applies to crime: Last year saw what appears to be “by far the largest one year decline in murder ever recorded,” crime data analyst Jeff Asher wrote after the FBI released preliminary 2023 crime numbers this week. (Comparable U.S. crime data goes back to 1960.) A few cities, including Washington, D.C., and Memphis, Tenn., bucked the trend, but in most of the country, the murder rate has come close to erasing the spike that took place during the COVID-19 years.

Overall violent crime levels have done even better — they’re now down to levels last seen in the mid-1960s.

Yet much of the public still thinks the U.S. is in the midst of a crime wave.

Some of that has to do with partisanship, and some with media coverage of rare but spectacular crimes — shootings on the New York subway, for example. But as with the economy, some of the gap between perception and reality involves time lags. Continued improvement could lead to more positive views.

Genaro Molina  Los Angeles Times IN MARCH’S primary, nonaffiliated voters will be able to participate in the Democratic presidential contest.

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Typically, as Sides and Tesler wrote, a president’s approval numbers go up at least a few points during an election year. That was true for Presidents Nixon, Clinton and Obama, and it shouldn’t be a surprise: Incumbent presidents typically can raise huge amounts of money to advertise their achievements.

Improving views of Biden

Biden definitely fits into that pattern in fundraising. Between his principal campaign account and the Democratic National Committee, the Biden team started March with $98 million in the bank, according to financial disclosure reports, compared with $38 million for Trump’s side. Additional committees affiliated with Biden bring cash on hand to $155 million, the campaign says, and they’ve launched a big spring advertising effort in swing states.

A key audience is Democrats who plan to vote for a third-party candidate or stay home. Polls indicate that Biden is drawing support from about 80% to 85% of Democratic voters, while Trump gets backing from more than 90% of Republicans. Evening that disparity would put Biden in better shape.

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Winning over the disapprovers

Even if some improvements take place, the odds are that Biden will have historically low approval levels when he faces voters in November.

White House and campaign officials profess a lack of concern: Although “historically, favorability and vote choice have been correlated,” Biden advisor Jennifer O’Malley Dillon said in a recent interview with the New Yorker, “I actually think that’s no longer the case.”

Democratic aides cite the results of the 2022 midterm election. According to exit polls, Democratic candidates won a small majority of voters who said they “somewhat disapprove” of Biden.

The reason for that is simple: Those voters also disapprove of Trump.

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That’s why the campaign likely will focus heavily on the “double disapprovers” — Americans who dislike both Biden and Trump.

About 1 in 4 U.S. adults falls into that category, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of data from a survey of 12,693 adults conducted Feb. 13-25. (The share is a bit smaller among adults who vote — closer to 1 in 5, according to national data from Marquette University in Wisconsin.)

Those double disapprovers are disproportionately young — 41% of Americans aged 18 to 29 view Trump and Biden negatively, compared with 15% of those older than 65, Pew found. These disapprovers are also more common among Latino and Asian Americans than either their white or Black counterparts.

Another significant group among the disapprovers: people who voted for Nikki Haley in Republican primaries. Just over half of voters who backed her disapproved of both Trump and Biden, Pew found.

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But dislike of Trump isn’t as intense or as widespread as it was in 2020.

A Suffolk University poll taken in early March for USA Today found, for example, that approval of Trump’s performance in office is now higher than it was during his tenure. That’s an example of how nostalgia tends to improve presidential ratings after the fact, but also of how Trump currently benefits from the retrospective glow of the relatively good economic times of his first three years in office.

To counter that bump, Democrats are deploying a two-pronged approach that’s already visible in Biden’s campaign. One prong involves reminding voters of the chaos of the Trump years, which culminated in his supporters’ attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021,. in an effort to block Congress from finalizing election results showing he’d lost. Republicans counter with attacks on Biden’s age.

The other prong is more ideological: On both sides of the aisle, double disapprovers most often identify as moderates, polls show.

In 2016, a key reason Trump won was that voters, on average, viewed him as closer to the political center than his Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. Once in office, of course, Trump hewed to the right, losing that moderate advantage. This time around, he has tried to regain it on at least some issues — refusing to publicly say what sort of abortion ban he might support, for example, and attacking Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis over his past support for cuts to Medicare and Social Security.

A major effort of Biden’s campaign aims to convince voters that a reelected Trump would, once again, try to govern from the right — not just on immigration, where Trump has openly called for mass deportations, but on issues like healthcare, abortion rights and Social Security.

With Biden and Trump both so well-known, the number of undecided voters in 2024 may be smaller than ever, but the classic formulation of American politics still holds true: Winning requires capturing the center.

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write a speech on abortion

David Lauter is a senior editor at the Los Angeles Times, based in Washington, D.C. He began writing news in Washington in 1981 and since then has covered Congress, the Supreme Court, the White House under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton and four U.S. presidential campaigns. He served as Washington bureau chief from 2011 through 2020. Lauter lived in Los Angeles from 1995 to 2011, where he was The Times’ deputy Foreign editor, deputy Metro editor and then assistant managing editor responsible for California coverage.

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write a speech on abortion

How to Talk About Abortion

How to change hearts and minds, and reduce stigma while you're at it.

We know that the best way to change hearts and minds is to have open and honest conversations with people who trust us. This is also true when talking about abortion. So why is it so hard for some people to talk about abortion? Abortion stigma.

Abortion stigma is the shame and silence that surrounds abortion. It comes from years of well-practiced and often shared rhetoric that demonizes abortion and creates a challenging environment for us to talk openly and unapologetically about it. We, however, want to make sure that the way we speak about abortion promotes acceptance and normalization of this necessary health care that all people should be able to access. By talking with our loved ones about abortion, we can change the narrative around abortion and reassure people that abortion is essential health care.

Here are some tips for talking about abortion: we'll go over preparing your "why", facts and talking points to use in conversation, conversation starters, and language to use (and avoid).


To fight back against institutions that are chipping away at abortion rights, we need to center those who are affected: all people who can get pregnant, those with low-incomes, and people for whom structural racism has created longstanding barriers to abortion access, such as Black, Indigenous, and Latinx people. Most likely, the reason you want to have these conversations about abortion is because of your own story. Maybe you’ve had an abortion or supported someone else through one. Maybe you’ve been a clinic escort or have experienced a pregnancy scare.


Here are some resources we recommend:

- Considering Abortion - What Facts Do I Need to Know About Abortion?

- Planned Parenthood RED ALERT report on abortion restrictions

- National Abortion Federation “Women who have abortions”


We can change hearts and minds by speaking with our peers and trusting individuals. Here are a few different groups to think about speaking with about abortion:

- Members of a club/volunteer team/church

- Social media followers/mutuals

- Fitness groups

- Classmates

Be strategic in your timing as you plan these conversations. Rather than just reaching out randomly, create a plan for yourself. 

There are many different avenues to have these conversations with our loved ones. There is no guarantee that one conversation will change anyone’s mind, but it’s a good idea to make abortion a normalized topic for this person. Your conversations can happen via text, over the phone, in person, direct messaging, over social media, or wherever you think the person will be most receptive.


For help with conversation openers, try a variation of one of these lines:.

“Hi ___, have you heard about the extremely restrictive new law in Texas that bans abortion at around six weeks of pregnancy? That’s before most people know they’re pregnant. It also allows strangers to sue people who help others get an abortion in the state.”

“____, I really care about access to safe, legal, abortion, and I’m afraid because this access is being taken away from us. Can we talk about it?”

“Hey, ___, I had an abortion. In my experience [insert story], but now I’m afraid that we won’t be able to access this essential health care for much longer.”

“___, I'm really worried about the future of abortion access. I have loved ones who have had abortions, and there are so many other people who depend on this essential care. People like [abortion story] and me, will be affected by this. Can we talk about it?

Keep in mind:

Really listen to what they're saying. Try to understand their point of view. Ask them questions like: ‘Tell me more about that’ or ‘How does that make you feel?’

Be clear about how you feel and what you want by using “I statements” and leaning into your own experience.

Agree to disagree. This doesn’t mean you agree with their perspective. You’re just protecting yourself by choosing which battles to fight.

Be proud of yourself for starting this conversation. It takes real courage. Each time you overcome your nervousness and do it, you’ll build your skills and confidence.


Always return the conversation to the real people involved — that's why your story matters so much.

Being vulnerable boosts vulnerable conversations and builds trust with the person you are speaking to. Open up to them about why you support abortion, whether you’ve had one, supported someone through one, are a clinic escort, or believe access to abortion under any circumstance is important. Let them know why. Allowing yourself to open up allows genuine and honest conversation to flow. And, people will listen to their loved ones, even if their opinion is not swayed much or right away.

Meet people where they are. Don’t make assumptions or judgements on the person’s beliefs. Level set and find common ground with your shared values. Refer to these values often during your conversation.Abortion stigma is the shame and silence that surrounds abortion.

Don’t frame abortion as a women's issue: this doesn't represent the trans, nonbinary and gender non-confirming people who can get pregnant.

Don’t talk about abortion as “tragic” or a “hard decision.” That is not true for everyone and further stigmatizes abortion! Abortion is always a personal decision.

3 ways to share your story


  1. Abortion, contraception return to Supreme Court in free speech case

    write a speech on abortion

  2. ⇉Abortion Persuasive Speech Essay Example

    write a speech on abortion

  3. Abortion case ruling boosts free speech

    write a speech on abortion

  4. What are late-term abortions and who gets them?

    write a speech on abortion

  5. Abortion limits at state level return issue to the national stage

    write a speech on abortion

  6. Exploring how religion has shaped the abortion debate

    write a speech on abortion


  1. Persuasive Speeches on Abortion

    Preparing an Abortion Persuasive Speech: Essential Steps. The process of writing any persuasive speech includes several steps. And all of them are equally important if you want to craft the best speech possible. Speaking of abortion persuasive essay writing, here are the steps you need to follow to prepare an exceptional speech: Research the topic.

  2. Persuasive Essay About Abortion: Examples, Topics, and Facts

    Here are some facts about abortion that will help you formulate better arguments. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in abortion. The majority of abortions are performed in the first trimester. Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures, with less than a 0.5% risk of major complications.

  3. Persuasive Speech on Abortion

    As for me, I have done a certain paperwriting research on the subject and I found out that there is no other right variant for me, than to choose life. I will explain what I mean in this persuasive speech outline on abortion. No matter, how we persuade ourselves, every woman that decides to put an end to her pregnancy understands that it is wrong.

  4. Why Biden gave a speech about abortion rights : NPR

    President Biden gave a speech about abortion rights Tuesday, billed as a political event ahead of the upcoming midterm elections. President Biden made a full-throated plea to young voters today ...

  5. How to Talk About Abortion

    Instead, hear what they have to say, and try to empathize with them. Then talk about the values you both share, like love, fairness, compassion, and justice. You can say something like "I know you care about others, and so do I. That's why I believe decisions about whether to choose adoption, end a pregnancy, or raise a child must be left ...


    Step 1 - Prepare your "why". Story development and how to create your story for lasting impact. Step 2 - Know the Facts. Abortion facts and talking points to use in your conversations. Step 3 - Think About Who You Want to Speak With, When And How To Address Them. Crafting your conversations for success.

  7. Aspen Baker: A better way to talk about abortion

    Abortion is extremely common. In America, for example, one in three women will have an abortion in their lifetime, yet the strong emotions sparked by the topic -- and the highly politicized rhetoric around it -- leave little room for thoughtful, open debate. In this personal, thoughtful talk, Aspen Baker makes the case for being neither "pro-life" nor "pro-choice" but rather "pro-voice ...

  8. How to Really Support People Who Have Abortions

    How to Really Support People Who Have Abortions. While roughly one in four individuals capable of being pregnant have an abortion by 45, many are left to process the experience alone. Reproductive justice advocates say that challenging stigma, centering equity, and demonstrating unconditional kindness are vital to providing inclusive care.

  9. The Rhetoric That Shaped The Abortion Debate : NPR

    Wade: Voices that Shaped the Abortion Debate Before the Supreme Court's Ruling. By Linda Greenhouse and Reva B. Siegel. Hardcover, 352 pages. Kaplan Publishing. List Price: $26. Read an Excerpt ...

  10. Remarks by President

    Roosevelt Room (August 26, 2022) 11:12 A.M. EDT THE PRESIDENT: Well, look, thanks for coming down. And I know you've been meeting with my staff — (clears throat) — excuse me — and — and ...

  11. Abortion is Our Right, and We Won't Be Silenced

    Last summer, for example, Indiana University told faculty that they had committed a policy violation by writing a letter in support of a colleague and opposing a proposed abortion ban in the legislature. ... Whether you live in a state where politicians are taking away your free speech and abortion rights or not, you can make a difference in ...

  12. Why Freedom of Speech Is the Next Abortion Fight

    Recent efforts to suppress speech about abortion would seriously undermine the nation's ability to debate the topic openly and honestly. Anybody who believes in the importance of the First ...

  13. There's reason for people on opposing sides of abortion to talk, even

    An abortion rights activist argues with an anti-abortion advocate at a 1992 rally in Washington. ... Write an article and join a growing community of more than 180,500 academics and researchers ...

  14. Remarks by President Biden on Protecting Access to Reproductive Health

    Roosevelt Room 12:04 P.M. EDT THE PRESIDENT: Good morning, everyone. Before I speak to the Supreme Court extreme decision overturning Roe, I want to comment on one piece of good news — economic ...

  15. Remarks Delivering a Policy Speech on Abortion in Arlington, Virginia

    Abortion is a deeply personal topic for both women and men. I understand why. Someone's body and someone else's life are not things to be taken lightly, and they should not be politicized. The issue should be addressed with sensitivity and respect, not judgment and hate. Most people have a story that has brought them to their views about abortion.

  16. Harris Emerges as the Voice of Abortion Rights in the Biden

    Her question — delivered more as a statement of outrage — came in a speech to Emily's List, an abortion rights group, just hours after the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion indicating ...

  17. A High School Teen's Powerful Graduation Speech About Abortion Rights

    June 2, 2021. YouTube. Paxton Smith, the 2021 valedictorian of Lake Highlands High School in Dallas, gave an impassioned graduation speech about abortion rights that's going viral. For those ...

  18. Why It's So Important That an Arizona State Senator Is Speaking Out

    Senator Burch, in her touching speech, reminded us that as harmful as abortion bans are, other kinds of restrictions also impact patient care. While the Arizona Supreme Court considers whether to let a total abortion ban go into effect, accessing abortion care there already requires patients make two separate trips, receive biased counseling ...

  19. Press Call By Vice President Harris on Reproductive Rights

    Via Teleconference. THE VICE PRESIDENT: Hi, everyone, and thank you for joining. I'm convening this call to talk about the latest attacks on reproductive rights. Needless to say, these attacks ...

  20. Adams Delivers Floor Speech Supporting Abortion Rights

    WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 15, 2022) - This morning, Congresswoman Alma Adams (NC-12) delivered a speech on the floor of the United States House of Representatives in support of the Women's Health Protection Act, which would codify a right to reproductive freedom and abortion care into law. The legislation comes in the wake of the Supreme Court ...

  21. Pregnant Arizona lawmaker shares fight to get abortion, highlighting

    Eva Burch, who gave 10-minute speech on state senate floor, may be first pregnant state lawmaker to detail plans since fall of Roe When Eva Burch learned that her pregnancy was not progressing and ...

  22. Biden's SOTU speech calls for abortion rights

    In a forum in which presidents once avoided the word "abortion" at all costs, Biden's speech is a marker of Democrats' continued evolution on the issue—even if he only said the word once ...

  23. Biden leaned into reproductive freedom in his State of the Union speech

    But some supporters of abortion rights took issue with the fact that he didn't use the word "abortion" once, even though it was written in his prepared remarks for the evening. "It was wonderful ...

  24. Remarks by Vice President Harris During the "Fight for Reproductive

    Savannah Civic CenterSavannah, Georgia 1:26 P.M. EST THE VICE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, Savannah. Good afternoon. Oh, it is good to be back in Georgia. Thank you all. Let — can we please give ...

  25. Arizona lawmaker says she announced plans to get abortion to ...

    Health Care. Arizona lawmaker says she announced plans to get abortion to underscore out-of-touch laws Democratic Sen. Eva Burch of Mesa told fellow lawmakers in a floor speech she was going to ...

  26. How To Talk About Abortion

    Step 3 - Plan your audience. We can change hearts and minds by speaking with people we know and trust. Here are a few different groups to consider speaking with about abortion: Family. Friends. Coworkers. Members of a club/volunteer team/church. Social media followers/mutuals. Fitness groups.

  27. Column: Biden's big speech didn't move the needle. What will?

    Two weeks after President Biden's State of the Union address, it's clear the speech hasn't shifted the presidential race. No. Speeches seldom move the world, except in movies. State of the ...

  28. How to Talk About Abortion

    STEP 3. PLAN YOUR AUDIENCE. We can change hearts and minds by speaking with our peers and trusting individuals. Here are a few different groups to think about speaking with about abortion: - Family. - Friends. -Coworkers. - Members of a club/volunteer team/church. - Social media followers/mutuals.