Harris to push abortion during a trip to Florida on the anniversary of Roe v.  Wade

Harris to push abortion during a trip to Florida on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade

With few options available to ensure access to abortion, Vice President Kamala Harris will show that Democrats are not giving up on the issue as she marks the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade Sunday. It’s a bittersweet historic milestone for the White House after the US Supreme Court restored the national right to abortion.

Administration officials said she will speak in Florida, where Democrats are wary of new efforts to restrict abortion from Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential candidate. The speech continues Harris’ focus on reproductive rights with in recent months, including meetings with activists, health care providers and state legislators from across the country.

It is also meant to be a sign that abortion remains a focus for the administration after the midterm elections. Democrats performed better than expected, but prospects for the codification of Roe v. Wade into law, and the administration has faced the limits of its legal ability to keep abortion available.

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“The vice president will make it very clear: The fight to secure women’s basic right to reproductive health care is a long time coming,” said Kirsten Allen, a spokeswoman for Harris. “She will lay out the consequences of extremist attacks on reproductive freedom in states across our country and emphasize the need for Congress to codify Roe.”

President Joe Biden will mark the anniversary with a proclamation, according to administration officials.

No additional executive actions or policy proposals are expected over the weekend. Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said Wednesday that “the administration has taken actions with our limited authorities,” reiterating the president’s call for national legislation.

“Women must be empowered to make decisions about their lives and their health care, and politicians should not politicize or second-guess those decisions,” she said.

Vice President Kamala Harris will speak on abortion on Sunday during a planned trip to Florida.

Vice President Kamala Harris will speak on abortion on Sunday during a planned trip to Florida.
(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Meanwhile, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, told reporters Wednesday that her organization will focus on state legislation and ask, “What is the most ambitious we can to be?”

Dannenfelser recently met with DeSantis and said she was “thrilled” with the conversation, though she said DeSantis didn’t know what his next steps would be regarding the abortion. Florida currently prohibits abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra plans to visit Minnesota this week as the state’s legislature works on a new law to secure abortion rights.

Becerra hopes to meet with Democratic Gov. Tim Walz, stop at a Planned Parenthood facility and meet with organizers who want to use a mobile van to provide abortions to people crossing into the state from Wisconsin, which has strict abortion limits. by him.

Becerra then plans to visit a Wisconsin clinic that is no longer allowed to provide abortions and hold an event with Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Rep. Gwen Moore, both Democrats, to speak to medical students.

On Wednesday, Becerra recalled visiting a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis, Missouri, the day Roe v. Wade. He said he was surprised to see how quickly women were turned away for scheduled abortion appointments. Then he stopped at a clinic across the border in neighboring Illinois, which was still accepting patients.

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“It is now a fact in America that you can drive 16 miles across state lines and lose the rights to the health care you need,” Becerra said.

The battle over reproductive rights is likely to focus more on state legislatures than Washington, where both parties appear to be deadlocked on the issue.

Democrats hold 51 seats in the Senate, meaning they can block any Republican efforts to ban abortion nationwide, but there isn’t enough support to set aside filibuster rules for a national right on restoring abortion.

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In addition, the administration has limited tools to take executive action, even as it works to make abortion pills more widely available.

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