Vice President Kamala Harris warned that abortion rights are under attack across the United States in a speech marking the 50th anniversary of the Roe v Wade ruling.
Harris said the now-defunct Supreme Court ruling codified federal abortion protections but was struck down by conservative judges last year, noted “a woman’s fundamental constitutional right to make decisions for her own body, not the government”.
“America is the land of the free and the home of the brave. But let’s ask: Can we really be free if a woman can’t make decisions about her own body?” vice president said Sunday from Tallahassee, Florida.
“Can we really be free if a doctor cannot care for his patients? Can we really be free if families cannot make intimate decisions about their own lives?”
Ahead of the speech, the White House announced its latest efforts to increase support for abortion rights, saying it “consulted” with the Office of the Attorney General and the Department of Homeland Security. to review new guidance to support patients and service providers. and pharmacies that wish to legally access, prescribe or supply” abortion pill and consider new ways to “ensure that patients can legally access reproductive care.”
The Food and Drug Administration also announced this month that the so-called abortion pill will be more widely available in pharmacies and by mail.
However, the administration of US President Joe Biden still relatively limited about the ability to respond to a Roe v Wade overturn without passing federal law. Such an effort will almost certainly fail in the face of opposition from Republicans, who control the House and last year introduced a bill to ban abortion nationwide at 15 weeks of conception. pregnancy, with some exceptions.
“Since the Supreme Court decision, Americans have repeatedly said: Women should have the right to make these deeply personal decisions without political interference, Biden said in a statement Sunday.
“However, Republicans in Congress and across the country continue to push for a nationwide ban on abortion, criminalizing doctors and nurses, and making access to birth control less accessible. becomes more difficult. It’s dangerous, harsh and out of touch.”
– Suzanne Sausville (@wbzSausville) January 22, 2023
Meanwhile, the Women’s March movement, formed after former President Donald Trump’s election victory, called for a so-called “Greater Roe” nationwide mobilization on Sunday, with a march. flagships are planned in Madison, Wisconsin, and other cities. Gatherings are planned in cities across the country.
The mobilization comes after anti-abortion advocates their annual organization A “March for Life” rally on Friday in Washington, DC, with organizers praising Roe v Wade’s overturning and calling for further restrictions on abortion.
A new face of abortion rights
Abolition of Roe v Wade brought the fight over access to abortion to state legislatures and courts.
Several states have moved to strengthen protections through new legislation or ballot measures, with voters in California, Michigan and Vermont turning to keep abortion rights in their state constitutions in the 2022 midterm elections.
Others have issued limited scan on abortion, with the Guttmacher Institute identifying 12 states as of Sunday where abortion is banned with some rare exceptions.
Other restrictions were upheld due to court challenges, with an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation identifying active cases against abortion restrictions in 14 states. About half of US states currently have some form of abortion ban.
Speaking to reporters Friday, White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said that Harris will speak in Florida because it is a symbol of the battles raging across the country.
Florida currently has a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of conception, the period before many women know they are pregnant. However, its restrictions are less stringent than those of neighboring countries, making it an important resource for women in the region.
However, abortion rights advocates fear the Republican-controlled state legislature and Republican Governor Ron DeSantis may consider more restrictions.
The governor is expected to seek the Republican nomination in the 2024 presidential election, a race where abortion rights will almost certainly be huge.
“So we’re fighting back,” Harris said on Sunday. “The right of every woman in every state in this country to make decisions about her body is at stake. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: How dare they.”