Jill Biden calls on women to not be “shamed back into silence” two years following Supreme Court’s Dobbs Decision

Jill Biden

First Lady Jill Biden talking to President Joe Biden supporters about reproductive rights ahead of the two year anniversary of the US Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade at Millersville University in Millersville on June 23, 2024. (Photo: Sean Kitchen)

By Sean Kitchen

June 24, 2024

First Lady Jill Biden spoke to voters in Lancaster and Pittsburgh on Sunday, stumping for President Joe Biden and warning voters about how reproductive rights are at stake in the upcoming presidential election. 

First Lady Jill Biden rallied voters in Lancaster and Pittsburgh on Sunday around the importance of abortion access and reproductive rights in the upcoming election. 

Biden shared a story from her time growing up in the Philadelphia suburbs during the late 1960’s and explained how she had to help a friend, and classmate, who had to have an abortion. 

“I gathered my courage and I asked my mom, I said, ‘can she come stay with us?,’ and my mom didn’t hesitate. She said, ‘of course she can,’” Biden recalled.

“My mom never told a soul. In fact, my mom and I never spoke about it again. Secrecy, shame, silence, danger, even death. That’s what defined that time for so many women.”

Monday marks two years since Trump’s appointees to the US Supreme Court helped overturn Roe v. Wade and restricted abortion access for millions of women across the country. Twenty-one states across the country have completely banned or severely restricted abortion since the court issued their Dobbs v. Jackson decision.  

“We are being shamed back into that silence again,” Biden warned.  “Fifty years later, we are still fighting the battles that were settled so many decades ago. We are the first generation to give our daughters fewer rights than we had.”

Biden spoke at Millersville University in front of a crowd of over a couple hundred supporters from across South Central Pennsylvania as part of the Women for Biden-Harris campaign event. The trip was her first campaign event in the Lancaster area supporting her husband.

It also underscored the importance of campaigning in the more conservative leaning areas of the commonwealth. 

“When you look at the 2020 results, what you’ll see is that Biden won this state pretty narrowly, and the regions that overperformed were areas in central Pennsylvania, just like Lancaster City and its surroundings. So it’s important to make sure we boost turnout here,” State Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El (D-Lancaster) told The Keystone in an interview. 

“We know among Democrats, among independents and among Republicans, when you look at the nation as a whole, people want reproductive health access. They want to maintain this key freedom regardless of political party.”

Democrats have been able to protect abortion access and reproductive freedoms in Pennsylvania in the two years since the Court overturned Roe v. Wade

Gov. Josh Shapiro overwhelmingly defeated State Sen. Doug Mastriano (R-Franklin) in 2022 and Democrats were able to flip the Pennsylvania House for the first time in over a decade, stopping Republican-led efforts to restrict abortion access via the constitutional amendment process. 

Then, Superior Court Justice Daniel McCaffery defeated his Republican challenger, Montgomery County Judge Carolyn Carluccio, for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court after Carluccio was caught deleting anti-abortion language from campaign website in 2023

Patricia Flowers, a Lancaster resident, said that Sunday’s visit to South Central Pennsylvania means a lot and that the Biden campaign is paying attention to the region.

“I think that what is happening right now as far as women and their bodies is very cruel and inhumane. I think we can do better and we deserve a lot better,” Flowers added. 

Author

  • Sean Kitchen

    Sean Kitchen is the Keystone’s political correspondent, based in Harrisburg. Sean is originally from Philadelphia and spent five years working as a writer and researcher for Pennsylvania Spotlight.

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