CONTACT: Virginia Lucy,

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This evening, President Joe Biden highlighted the recent shooting in Monterey Park and reaffirmed his commitment to abortion rights in his State of the Union address. 

One of President Biden’s guests at the State of the Union was Brandon Tsay, a 26-year-old hero who prevented the Monterey Park shooter from harming more people.

“We appreciate President Biden bringing additional visibility to the heinous acts of violence in California that reverberated throughout the Asian American and Pacific Islander community,” says Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director at the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF).

“These recent mass shootings come during a time when our community has experienced increased hate crimes and violence, which have disproportionately impacted Asian American and Pacific Islander women.”

Reports of hate crimes against AAPI individuals have jumped 339% in recent years. Within the AAPI community, women are twice as likely to report hate incidents such as verbal harassment, physical assault, and workplace discrimination. 

In a survey measuring the state of safety for AAPI women, NAPAWF found that nearly 75% of respondents had personally experienced racism and/or discrimination within the past twelve months, with more than half identifying a stranger or someone they don’t know as the perpetrator. 

In President Biden’s first State of the Union address since the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization struck down Roe v. Wade, the President reaffirmed his commitment to restoring abortion rights across the country. President Biden stated, “The Vice President and I are doing everything we can to protect access to reproductive health care and safeguard patient privacy. But already, more than a dozen states are enforcing extreme abortion bans. Make no mistake; if Congress passes a national abortion ban, I will veto it.”

Eighty-five percent of AAPI women believe that women should have the right to make their own reproductive choices,” says Sung Yeon Choimorrow, “but even before the fall of Roe, the path to abortion has always been arduous for the AAPI community — filled with language barriers, cultural stigmas, and low rates of insurance coverage for our most vulnerable members. We applaud President Biden’s continuing commitment to restore the right to access abortion care.”

In addition to restoring the right to abortion care, NAPAWF also urges Congress to enact legislation that would remove barriers for immigrant and low-income families to access affordable health care coverage, including abortion care, such as the HEAL for Immigrant Families Act, which expands access to free or low-cost health care coverage through Medicaid, CHIP, and the ACA Marketplace, in addition to the EACH Act, which repeals the Hyde Amendment and allows federal dollars to be used for abortion services. This is especially important for low-income families who depend on Medicaid and federally-funded community health centers for care. 

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The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build collective power so that all AAPI women and girls can have full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities.