Abortion rights had already come up a handful of times by the halfway point of the first Democratic presidential primary debate, but it was Julián Castro who, at least so far, offered the best response when asked about abortion and reproductive health.
“I don’t just believe in reproductive freedom, I believe in reproductive justice,” Castro said. “And what that 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 don’t have the right to exercise that right to choose.”
He continued: “More than that, everybody in this crowd and watching at home knows in our country today a person’s right to choose is under assault in places like Missouri and Alabama, in Georgia.”
While Castro admittedly stumbled a bit when talking about trans women and abortion, the fact that he centered the fact that trans and nonbinary people must be included in any discussion of reproductive justice is something we haven’t heard before on a presidential debate stage. Even the simple change of “a person’s right to choose” felt revelatory. It shouldn’t be groundbreaking for a presidential candidate to acknowledge that reproductive justice necessarily includes trans people, but it is.