Hylton Performing Arts Center
Manassas, Virginia 
(January 23, 2024)

4:36 P.M. EST

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Hi, everyone.  Good afternoon.  Can we give it up for the First Lady of the United States of America?  (Applause.)

Thank you, Dr. Biden.  Thank you, Jill.  She’s been traveling.  She’s really been traveling.  And I can’t thank you enough for your friendship and your leadership. 

And — and I have to say about our First Lady, just as she left the stage, she has been an unwavering champion for the women and f- — families of our nation.  Excuse me.  I see her when the cameras are on and when they’re off, and she’s an extraordinary leader on so many levels. 

So, again, to Dr. Jill Biden, thank you very much.  (Applause.)

Please have a seat if you’d like.

And to my husband, the first Second Gentleman of the United States, Doug Emhoff.  (Applause.)  And, of course, I always thank him for standing with the women of America and for the people.

And of course, our President, Joe Biden, who is going to take the stage very shortly.  (Applause.)  Who, as we all know — which is why we are here together — we have, in Joe Biden, a courageous fighter for our most fundamental freedoms as Americans, including, of course, the freedom to make decisions about one’s own body and not have their government tell them what they’re supposed to do.  (Applause.)

And, of course, today, that freedom is under profound threat.

We all know, 19 months ago, the highest court in our land — the court of Thurgood and RBG — took a constitutional right from the people of America, from the women of America.  And in the 19 months since, in states across our nation, extremists have proposed and passed laws that criminalize doctors and punish women — laws that make no exception even for rape and incest.

And let us all agree, one does not have to abandon their faith or deeply held beliefs to agree the government should not be telling her what to do with her body.  (Applause.)

If she chooses — if she chooses, she will consult with her pastor, her priest, her rabbi, her imam.  But it should not be the government telling her what they think is in her best interest.

And note — (applause) — while these extremists say they are motivated by the health and the well-being of the women and children of America, in reality, they ignore the crisis of maternal mortality.  (Applause.)

The top 10 states in our country with the highest rates of maternal mortality all have abortion bans.  The hypocrisy abounds.

And so, this is, in fact, a healthcare crisis.  And there is nothing about this moment that is hypothetical.

Today, in America, one in three women of reproductive age live in a state with an abortion ban. 

And let us understand what that really means for people across our nation.  Let us understand the horrific reality that women face every single day.

Since Roe was overturned, I have met a woman, for example — I’ve actually met more than one who have had miscarriages in toilets because they were refused care.

I have met women who went to the emergency room and who were turned away because doctors were afraid they would be thrown in jail for providing care.

Just yesterday, I was in Wisconsin for the first stop of my national “Fight for Reproductive Freedoms” tour.  (Applause.)  And there I met a woman named Meagan.  Because of a law that Wisconsin passed in, get this, 1849, that extremists then use in current day to stop abortion, Meagan had to go to Minnesota to leave the state she calls home to receive the care that saved her life.

Across our nation, women are suffering. 

And let us be very clear about who is responsible.  Former President Trump handpicked —


THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — handpicked three Supreme Court Justices because he intended for them to overturn Roe.  He intended for them to take your freedoms.  He is the architect of this healthcare crisis.  And he is not done.  And he is not done.  And the extremists are not done.

In the United States Congress, extremists are trying to pass a national abortion ban to outlaw —


THE VICE PRESIDENT:  — to outlaw abortion in every state.

But what they need to know is that we will not allow it.  (Applause.)  The American people will not allow it.  (Applause.)  That’s right.

And here’s some evidence of that point.  Since Roe was overturned, tens of millions of Americans in red states and blue marched to the polls in defense of fundamental freedoms.

The voice — (applause) — the voice of the people has been heard, and it will be heard.  (Applause.)

So, today, I ask the people here in Virginia: Are you ready to make your voice heard?  (Applause.)

Do we trust women?  (Applause.)  Do we believe in reproductive freedoms?  (Applause.)  Do we believe in the promise of America?  (Applause.)  And are we ready to fight for it?  (Applause.)  Good.

And when we fight, we win.

God bless you.  And God bless America.  (Applause.)

And now —

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  And with that —

AUDIENCE:  Four more years!  Four more years!  Four more years!

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  And — yes.  And, absolutely, four more years.  (Applause.)

And so, getting on to how we’re going to get there, let me just say, we have a president who knows how to win; a president who is protecting women’s access to medication and emergency care, protecting women’s privacy and the right of women to travel to receive care. 

We have a president who has a vision for our future, a future where reproductive freedom is protected for every woman, every person in America.  And we have a president who has — and this is so critically important — the compassion as well as the determination and skill to make our vision for our country and our future real.

And so, now, to introduce our president, it is my honor to welcome a person of profound strength and courage, Amanda Zurawski, who is going to join us to say a few words and share a story that it takes so much courage for anyone to share.

Amanda.  (Applause.)

                               END                  4:45 P.M. EST

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