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OPINION

What You Didn't Hear in President Biden’s State of the Union Address

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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Jacquelyn Martin, Pool

In 2020, the Biden-Harris campaign ran on a radical agenda to increase abortions and reject the biological reality of sex. And they have delivered.

Although the Biden administration wants Congress to pass laws enshrining this agenda, it has unilaterally imposed similar rules through bureaucratic agencies. President Biden barely mentioned these actions in his State of the Union Address last night, but his actions have been both illegal and extreme.

In July 2022, the president’s agencies tried to transform hospitals into on-demand abortion facilities. The Department of Health and Human Services ordered hospitals that receive Medicare funds to perform abortions, and the Veterans Administration has now begun performing them itself in veterans’ hospitals. These mandates trample on pro-life state laws, and only a court order obtained by Texas and Alliance Defending Freedom has partially slowed down the effort.

HHS also declared that all 60,000 of the nation’s pharmacies must stock and dispense first-trimester chemical abortion drugs, simply because they serve patients covered by a federally funded plan. And just a few weeks ago, the Food and Drug Administration allowed retail pharmacies like Walgreens to dispense chemical abortion drugs through 10 weeks of gestational age.

There is no legal basis for these mandates; the administration magically discovered them after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Authorizing pharmacies to dispense chemical abortion drugs undermines women’s health, since it is crucial that she first receive an in-person medical evaluation to confirm gestational age, ensure that she does not have an ectopic pregnancy, and find other potentially life-threatening conditions.

Because one in five women who undergo a chemical abortion will suffer a complication and require further medical attention, this authorization harms the welfare and safety of women and girls.

Beyond the pursuit of extreme abortion initiatives, many of the Biden administration’s agencies are weaponizing federal civil rights laws to impose radical gender ideology. This threatens the health of boys and girls, not to mention religious liberty, free speech, parental rights, educational fairness, and the basic recognition of biological reality.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced a directive that requires private religious colleges to open female showers, restrooms, and dorm rooms to males who identify as female. For instance, religious schools like College of the Ozarks hope to keep their faith-based dorm policies and student code of conduct, but the new order makes them choose between their faith or the ability to avoid catastrophic federal penalties. The college will soon ask the Supreme Court to review its case.

Additionally, the Biden administration is attempting to rewrite Title IX through the U.S. Department of Education. The agency would require grade schools to treat students as a different sex even without parents’ knowledge or consent and require schools to let males complete in female sports. This threatens the rights of parents, students, and teachers, and undermines the historic accomplishments of women.

HHS followed suit, first ordering and then proposing to rewrite its rules to force doctors to perform, refer for, and affirm many life-altering medical procedures—such as mastectomies, testosterone suppression, and hormone administration—to remove or impair the healthy organs of persons who identify as the opposite sex.

HHS’s gender-identity decree hurts children and adults who struggle with gender dysphoria. It coerces healthcare professionals to perform dangerous and life-altering medical procedures, even if doing so violates their medical judgment, conscience, or religious beliefs. Multiple courts have ruled against this mandate, and more will follow.

The administration’s U.S. Department of Agriculture was even poised to take away school lunches from underprivileged children at Christian schools unless those schools surrendered to radical gender ideology. Again, a lawsuit by ADF made the agency acknowledge Congress’ requirement to exempt religious schools. The administration has utilized the power of multiple bureaucratic agencies to discreetly pursue aggressive abortion and sexual identity policies that harm women and girls and target people of faith.

It’s no wonder the president’s speech last night stuck to vague phrases that airbrush this part of agenda. But courts are not ignoring the president’s bureaucratic overreach, and neither should the American people.

Matt Bowman is senior counsel and director of the regulatory practice team at Alliance Defending Freedom (@ADFLegal).

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