Inauguration Day 2021: Here's Joe Biden's Stance On Every Women's Issue
After one of the highest voter turnouts in almost a century, Democratic candidate Biden was announced as the President Elect last November, with Kamala Harris joining him as his Vice President Elect.
But what does the Joe Biden's presidency mean for women in the States?
Following on from Trump's presidential run - which pulled back on abortion rights, maintained the gender pay gap and redefined domestic abuse to exclude some victims - the new President has promised to an "aggressive and comprehensive plan to further women's economic and physical security and ensure that women can fully exercise their civil rights."
Here's a rundown of his key promises...
Biden on Abortion and Women's Health
Biden's campaign ran supporting pro-choice, and he's consistently promised to protect a woman's right to choose.
He has pledged to keep access to abortion legal, and called for Trump's anti-abortion Supreme Court nominee to be withdrawn when he starts in office. Plus, he wants to increase funding to Planned Parenthood as a priority.
The Democratic candidate supports Roe v Wade - which made abortion legal nationwide, and put the decision in the hands of the states - to the point where he even vows to "codify" it, so that anti-abortion states have less authority to go against it.
He also doesn't support the Hyde Amendment, which bans federal funds for abortion, and has cropped up in several Trump spending bills. Plus, he opposes the Helms Amendment (a ruling that bans the US from funding international safe abortions).
When Trump was elected as President, one of the first things he did was reinstate the global gag rule, known as the Mexico City Policy, which blocks U.S. federal funding for NGOs, if they provide abortion counselling or referrals, or advocate for legal abortions (even with their own money).
Determined to right this, Biden says he will rescind this ruling immediately, and also advocates for the Global Health, Empowerment and Rights (Global HER) Act, which would permanently repeal it.
It's worth noting that Biden's views on abortion weren't always so progressive. In the 1980s, he argued that Roe v. Wade "went too far," and back in 2006, he called himself the "odd man out" in his party when it came to his views on abortion.
"I do not view abortion as a choice and a right," he said at the time. "I think it's always a tragedy, and I think that it should be rare and safe, and I think we should be focusing on how to limit the number of abortions. There ought to be able to have a common ground and consensus as to do that."
However, since then, Biden's stance has changed. Whatever his personal views, he said during the presidential debate in July: "I support a woman's right to choose. I support it's a constitutional right. I've supported it and I will continue to support it."
Supporting women's health more broadly, Biden has also pledged to rejoin the World Health Organization (WHO) - which Trump famously left.
Biden's State Department will also begin looking into the contraceptive needs of women, and maternal mortality rates.
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Plus, he promises the US will once again fund the UN Population Fund - a vitally important resource working to end female genital mutilation, cutting and other inhumane cultural practices.
Biden on Equal Pay and Workplace Equality
Biden has long voiced his support for equal pay. When he was Vice President in 2015, he tweeted: "Equal pay for equal work. It's common sense. It's also overdue. Let's close the gap and let's do it now".
Biden's campaign site pledges support for equal pay for women, and he promises his presidency will "ratify the Equal Rights Amendment [ERA], so that gender equality is finally enshrined in our Constitution."
In order to fight equal pay, Biden pledges to "invest in women-owned small businesses, expand access to education and training, and strength pay and benefits in careers disproportionately filled by women."
As part of his 'Women's Agenda' Biden has also says he will work alongside advocates to pass the Equal Rights Amendment and broaden benefits for jobs that women often fill.
Furthermore, Biden has voiced his support the Paycheck Fairness Act - the brainchild of two women in Congress, Patty Murray in the Senate and Rose DeLauro - which aims to tackle the gender wage gap.
In an important and symbolic step for equality in the workplace, Biden is also taking office alongside Vice President Elect Kamala Harris on his ticket - not only the first woman to take up the role, but the first Black woman, the first woman of Asian descent and the first child of an immigrant.
"It's long overdue," he said during his acceptance speech. "And we're reminded tonight of all those who fought so hard for so many years to make this happen".
Biden on Domestic Abuse
On domestic violence in the past, Biden said, when he was senator: "I have become convinced that violence against women reflects as much a failure of our nation's collective moral imagination as it does the failure of our nation's laws and regulations".
It hasn't all been good, though. More recently, Biden was accused of being "tone deaf" on domestic abuse, after addressing it in the 2020 presidential debate.
He said: "No man has a right to raise a hand to a woman," before caveating: "Other than in self defence and that rarely ever occurs. And so we have to just change the culture. Period. And keep punching at it and punching at it and punching at it."
Despite this, Biden has importantly promised to reauthorise the Violence Against Women Act - a piece of legislation that was originally introduced in 1990 when he was senator, and promises to reform criminal legal responses to domestic abuse, as well as tackling it at a community level.
Between its implementation in 1994 and 2011, serious victimisation by an intimate partner declined by 72 per cent.
Biden on Childcare and Maternity
Biden has announced he will be allocating a budget of $775 Billion (£567 billion) for childcare and senior care when he's in office.
In his long-term plan, he lays out how he wishes to expand child care for children up to five years old, including a free universal preschool education.
Discussing maternity and paternity leave, Biden says that he plans to "ask Congress to include in new legislation [ensuring] paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave for every worker, and making these benefits permanent."
Biden also promises to expand "access to quality, affordable child care through a tax credit of up to $8,000 (£5,850) per family."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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