Julián Castro Earns Acclaim for Including Trans Community in Impassioned Call for Reproductive Justice

Presidential contender Julián Castro earned acclaim from progressives after making an impassioned plea for "reproductive rights" that also include the trans community in Wednesday night's first Democratic debate.

"I don't believe only in reproductive freedom—I believe in reproductive justice," Castro said at the debate in Miami when asked by moderator Lester Holt whether his health care plan would include abortion access. "What that means, is not just a woman, but let's not forget someone in the trans community, a trans female, is poor doesn't mean they shouldn't have the right to choose. So I would absolutely cover the right to have an abortion," he continued to loud applause.

I don’t believe in only reproductive freedom, i believe in reproductive justice. All women -- and that includes the trans community -- have the right to an abortion. #DemDebate

— Julián Castro (@JulianCastro) June 27, 2019

Reproductive justice refers to "the human right to maintain personal bodily autonomy, have children, not have children, and parent the children we have in safe and sustainable communities," according to Sister Song, Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective.

The question of reproductive rights comes at a time when a number of Republican-controlled states have signed laws restricting abortion access. In many cases, those passing the laws have made it clear that they do not believe they will stand up in court but there intention is to take advantage of a conservative majority to challenge the landmark Supreme Court ruling legalizing abortion. A law recently passed in Georgia would outlaw abortions as early as six weeks, before many women even know they are pregnant.

"Everyone knows that in our country today, a person's right to choose is being challenged in Georgia, Alabama and Missouri," Castro added said. "I would appoint judges to the bench that would support Roe v. Wade."

Castro's comments gained wide acclaim from abortion rights campaigners and progressives online.

"I don't believe in reproductive freedom, I believe in reproductive justice." - Julián Castro, before specifically including trans people in the reproductive rights conversation, hell yeah 💞 #DemDebate

— Lauren Duca (@laurenduca) June 27, 2019

“I believe in reproductive justice.” Julian Castro is really winning me over here, especially when he mentions the importance of federal judges. #demdebate

— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) June 27, 2019

“I don’t believe only in reproductive freedom—I believe in reproductive justice. What that means, is not just a woman, but someone in the trans community, should always have the right to choose. I would absolutely cover the right to have an abortion.” —@JulianCastro #DemDebate

— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) June 27, 2019

Castro also earned plenty of support with an emphatic call for equal pay.

'I will do several things, starting with something we should have done a long time ago, and pass the Equal Rights Amendment. Finally in this country. And also pursue legislation so that women are paid equal pay for equal work in this country."

Listening to @JulianCastro answer questions abt health care and the pay gap, it is crystal clear that he surrounds himself with strong smart women. This is what a male feminist looks like. @castrocountry @MayaRupert @jennifer_fiore #DemDebate #DemDebates #Julian2020 #juliancastro

— @JulieZebrak (@YesMomsCan) June 27, 2019

Castro, a former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, has been languishing in the polls but will have been hoping that an impressive performance could kickstart his campaign.

julian castro, debate, trans, reproductive justice
Former housing secretary Julian Castro and Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) take part in the first night of the Democratic presidential debate on June 26, 2019, in Miami, Florida. Joe Raedle