Harris wants abortion during Florida trip to mark Roe v.  advance calf

Harris wants abortion during Florida trip to mark Roe v. advance calf

With few options available to ensure access to abortion, Vice President Kamala Harris will show that Democrats are not abandoning the issue as they mark the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade commits. It is a bitter historic milestone for the White House after the US Supreme Court rescinded the national right to abortion.

Administration officials said she will speak in Florida, where Democrats have been wary of new efforts to limit the abortion of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential nominee. The speech follows Harris’ focus on reproductive rights over the past few months, including meetings with activists, health care providers and state legislators from around the country.

It should also be a signal that abortion will remain a government focus even after the midterm elections. Democrats fared better than expected, but the prospect of Roe v. Legislating Wade hasn’t improved, and the government has reached the limits of its legal ability to make abortions available.

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“The vice president will make it very clear that the fight to secure women’s fundamental right to reproductive health care is far from over,” said Harris spokeswoman Kirsten Allen. “She will lay out the consequences of extremist attacks on reproductive freedom in states across our country and underscore the need for Congress to codify Roe.”

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

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

“Women must be empowered to make decisions about their own lives and health care, and those decisions should not be politicized or questioned by politicians,” she said.

Vice President Kamala Harris will speak during a scheduled trip to Florida on Abortion Sunday.

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

Meanwhile, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of 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 thing we can be?”

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

Xavier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, plans to visit Minnesota this week as the state legislature works on new legislation strengthening abortion rights.

Becerra expects to appear with Democratic Gov. Tim Walz, stop at a Planned Parenthood facility, and meet with organizers who plan to use a mobile van to deliver abortions to people entering the state from Wisconsin, which has strict abortion restrictions to offer.

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

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

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

It’s likely that the fight over reproductive rights will focus more on state legislatures than Washington, where the two parties appear deadlocked on the issue.

Democrats have 51 Senate seats, meaning they can block any Republican attempts to ban abortion nationwide, but there isn’t enough support to circumvent filibuster rules to restore a national abortion right.

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Additionally, the government has limited tools to take executive action, although it works to make abortion pills more widely available.

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