The State of OUR Union

“This Administration is feeding the public a steady stream of lies, misinformation, and fearmongering, and tonight’s State of the Union was more of the same.   

Let’s be clear that bills to expand abortion access are a good thing. Anti-abortion extremists have cynically engineered the current conversation that stigmatizes and belittles people who need abortion later in pregnancy, even though they are well aware that women in this position often face heartbreaking decisions about pregnancies in crisis. But these bills ensure that people who need abortion care, and people whose pregnancies are endangered, are able to decide with their health care provider what option is best for them.  We’re grateful to Delegate Kathy Tran of Virginia, and the governor and legislature of New York, for bringing these bills to the table.

We also must recognize that the fight for reproductive and sexual health and rights doesn’t occur in a vacuum, but is inextricably tied to the fight for justice and liberation.  There is no room in our world for racist and hate-filled assaults that shame and scapegoat immigrants and refugees seeking safety and working to make a life for themselves in this country.  The real crisis at the border is this nation’s appalling treatment of refugees. We should be reuniting families, ensuring people are safe and healthy, and helping immigrants and refugees build new lives in our country, not throwing billions at a shameful symbol of racism and xenophobia.

Finally, given the President’s ongoing attacks on lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people and people of color, it’s hard to take his HIV plan seriously. Any plan for HIV prevention, treatment, and care must acknowledge HIV’s disparate impact on young people of color, including Black and Latino men who have sex with men and trans youth of color.  The plan must bring an end to laws that criminalize people living with HIV; must never allow health care professionals to deny care to transgender people or others who identify as LGBTQ individuals; must fully fund not only research but medication assistance and housing programs for people living with HIV; and must abandon harmful and ineffective abstinence-only programs.   

Young people are working to move this country forward, not backward. We have only to look at the young politicians inspiring passion and organizing to see that. It’s past time to let young people lead and get rid of the poisonous status quo that is making this country sick.  I urge everyone who is truly invested in the future of this country to look to young people, starting with our State of OUR Union Address.”