Our State of the Union Wish List

This Thursday, President Biden will give his State of the Union address. Historically, this is an opportunity for the President to talk directly to the American people and address Congress, highlighting their administration’s accomplishments and outlining their goals for the upcoming year. 

In anticipation of this event, we’ve created a wish list of all the issues we hope President Biden will address in his speech. Issues that directly impact the lives of women and girls. 

Let’s get into it. 

1. Protect Access to Abortion 

While we appreciate the President’s work to uplift the many stories of the many people across the country who have been negatively impacted by the Supreme Court’s erroneous Dobbs decision on abortion, including by inviting Kate Cox to be the First Lady’s guest at this year’s State of the Union, our bodily autonomy is still under urgent threat: 

  • We urge the President to express his support for the caring health care providers who are being forced to leave states that have enacted abortion bans.  
  • We ask the President to call on Congress to codify a meaningful federal right to abortion and reaffirm his commitment to ensuring that people have access to a full range of health care services, including birth control, abortion, and maternity care.

2. Finalize the Title IX Rules 

  • We urge the President to affirm his commitment to acting with urgency to finalize the Title IX rules, including rules addressing inclusion of transgender, nonbinary, and intersex students in school sports.  

3. Emergency Funding for Child Care 

While we are grateful to the President for including $16 billion for emergency child care funding in his domestic emergency aid priorities, an action which NWLC repeatedly called for, our child care system still needs so much more support: 

  • We urge the President to send a strong message to Congress of the need to pass bold investments for child care in order to prevent further reductions in child care spots, staffing shortages, and increased prices in the wake of the expiration of the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) dollars for child care last year.  

4. Support for Equal Pay 

While we applaud the Biden administration for prohibiting the federal government from relying on salary history to set pay for federal employees, there are still many steps that need to be taken in the fight for equal pay:  

  • We urge the President to speak to the power of pay transparency to close race and gender wage gaps.   
  • We also urge the President to call for Congressional action, including passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act, in his State of the Union address. 

5. Reject Harmful Book and Curriculum Bans 

  • We urge the President to emphasize that censorship harms students and their right to learn in safe and inclusive environments.

6. Support Diverse Judicial Nominees 

  • We urge the President to fill all vacancies and continue his commitment in nominating federal judges that have a proven commitment to civil rights and equal justice. 

Here’s the thing: no matter what President Biden says (or doesn’t say) during his State of the Union address, the National Women’s Law Center will never cease fighting for these priorities. 

Because for us, this isn’t a wish list, it’s a call to action. In every speech and every decision, we will keep fighting for a better future until there is finally justice for her, and justice for all.