Jill Biden: It's time for men to step up for women's rights

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First lady Jill Biden speaks during an event in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Wednesday, March 22, 2023, to celebrate women's history month. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON – First lady Jill Biden on Wednesday used a Women's History Month event at the White House to call on men to step up and fight to protect women's rights.

The first lady, speaking ahead of President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris, didn't mince words as she lamented that women find themselves relitigating “battles that we thought we had won a long time ago.”

“We need more men to hold each other accountable when women are being hurt or being left behind,” she said.

The Supreme Court declared last June that states can ban abortion. Since then, Republican-controlled legislatures across the country have rolled out regulations shortening the period when a woman can get an abortion and otherwise restricting abortion access.

"The fight for women’s equality should have an end," the first lady said.

President Biden in his remarks vowed that his administration remained focused on improving the economic status of women, and argued that all major issues facing the nation — from public safety to public health — are directly tied to improving women’s economic security and wellbeing.

“We have to recommit to the work ahead to deliver a better future for our nation’s daughters," Biden said.