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Julián Castro defends trans abortion rights in Democratic debate

Julián Castro defends trans abortion rights in Democratic debate

Julián Castro

Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro defended the rights of trans Americans to have access to abortion during the first night (26 June) of the Democratic primary debates.

When moderator Lester Holt quizzed the candidate on whether his health-care plans would cover abortions, Castro’s response was trans-inclusive. Though, it received some criticism online.

Despite being a middling performer in the polls, Castro emerged last night as the breakout star to some political pundits.

What happened?

The former housing and urban development secretary was the second candidate to reference protecting the rights of trans people. Following the lead of New Jersey senator Cory Booker.

Between battling with fellow Texan Beto O’Rourke on immigration and economic policies, he was asked: Would his health care plan provide public funding for abortion?

‘Yes, it would,’ he replied. ‘I don’t believe only in reproductive freedom, I believe in reproductive justice.

‘And what means is just because a woman, or let’s also not forget someone in the trans community, a trans female, is poor, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t exercise that right to choose.

‘So I absolutely would cover that right to have an abortion.’

‘Everybody can get and exercise that right’

The former San Antonio mayor went onto slam the restrictive abortion legislation passed this year by lawmakers in Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri.

He then vowed to appoint federal judges who would bolster greater understanding to the precedent set by the Supreme Court, Roe v Wade.

‘In addition to that, make sure that we fight hard as we transition our healthcare system to one where everybody can get and exercise that right.’


‘Very close, you almost got it!’

The move did not go unnoticed by the LGBTI community.

As the debates aired across NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo, while others tuned in on streams on Twitter, users expressed their thoughts on Castro’s comment.

Castro, admittedly blustered during the debate, drew some advise from LGBTIs over his reference to ‘trans women.’

‘This is…really close! But not all people who need reproductive healthcare like abortions are women,’ said one Twitter user.

‘It’s non-binary people and trans men who are often forgotten in this conversation.’

Another added: ‘The attempt is appreciated, but he didn’t quite get there.’

‘So appreciate your inclusive vision. But it is trans men who require access to abortion, please correct this for future conversations!’ advised a user.

Is abortion an LGBTI issue?

Undoubtedly, the recent assault on an American’s right to an abortion is an LGBTI issue.

US lawmakers across Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Georgia, and Missouri are introducing abortion-limiting measures.

LGBTI Americans, who are more likely to be poor, are more likely to rely on health clinics that provide abortion access for women, according to the National LGBTQ Task Force.

A 2015 study found these bisexual and lesbian women are almost twice as likely as straight-identifying women to get pregnant before the age of 20.

Moreover, trans men, intersex and gender-nonconforming people – like cisgender women – can get pregnant and would need access to health care services, including abortion access.

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