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Harris rallies in opposition to GOP push to roll again abortion rights

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris railed in opposition to efforts in Washington and in Republican-led states to limit abortion on what would have been on the fiftieth anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, invoking basic American values ​​akin to freedom to make the case for shielding abortion entry regardless of the Supreme Court docket’s resolution to get rid of constitutional protections for it.

Main the administration’s response on commemorating Roe on Sunday, Harris methodically detailed fights all through historical past for sure liberties, akin to civil rights and the suitable to vote for girls, and tied that to entry for abortion, which Harris known as the “basic, constitutional, proper of a lady to make selections about her personal physique.”

“Can we really be free if households can’t make intimate selections concerning the course of their very own lives?” Harris mentioned in a fiery speech earlier than a boisterous crowd of 1,500 folks in Tallahassee, Florida. “And might we really be free if so-called leaders declare to be quote, I quote, on the vanguard of freedom whereas they dare to limit the rights of the American folks and assault the very foundations of freedom?”

Girls’s marches demanding the safety of abortion rights had been set to attract 1000’s of individuals throughout the nation on Sunday, the fiftieth anniversary of the now-overturned Roe v. Wade Supreme Court docket resolution that established a federal proper to an abortion.

Harris outlined the implications of abortion restrictions: The ten-year-old woman in Ohio who turned pregnant after a rape however needed to journey out of state for an abortion. A 35-year-old Texas lady who was denied therapy thrice for what turned out to be a miscarriage, and developed sepsis, almost killing her. A 14-year-old in Arizona who initially couldn’t acquire remedy to regulate her continual arthritis, as a result of that remedy can also trigger being pregnant loss.

“The proper of each lady, in each state on this nation to make selections about her personal physique is on the road,” Harris mentioned. “I’ve mentioned it earlier than and I am going to say it once more: How dare they. How dare they?

The choice for Harris to talk in Tallahassee, the state capital, displays how the battle strains have shifted since final summer season. Now that there isn’t any extra nationwide proper to abortion, battles over the difficulty will play out in particular person statehouses fairly than within the halls of Congress or earlier than the Supreme Court docket. White Home officers this previous week agreed prime attorneys from eight states to debate pending laws.

As well as, after performing higher than anticipated in November’s elections, Democrats see abortion as a key concern for his or her celebration in 2024, when management of the White Home and each chambers of Congress might be up for grabs on the identical time. In Florida, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis might search the Republican presidential nomination, step one to difficult President Joe Biden, who has been making ready for a reelection marketing campaign.

Forward of her speech, Harris instructed abortion rights advocates on a convention name Sunday that they need to sustain their power as they push again in opposition to restrictions in Republican-led states and work on behalf of candidates in native races who help abortion entry.

“We’re preventing for one thing. Historical past goes to point out we’re on the suitable aspect of this concern,” Harris mentioned. “So allow us to not be deterred, allow us to not be overwhelmed. This isn’t a time to throw up our fingers. It is a time to roll up our sleeves.”

White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre mentioned Florida is crucial as a result of its guidelines for abortion are much less restrictive than its neighbors, making it a comparatively secure harbor for girls within the area who’re making an attempt to finish their pregnancies. However extra restrictions could possibly be thought of by the Republican-controlled state authorities.

DeSantis’ workplace didn’t reply to a request for remark.

Biden, in a press release Sunday, mentioned “ladies ought to be capable of make these deeply private selections free from political interference. But, Republicans in Congress and throughout the nation proceed to push for a nationwide abortion ban, to criminalize docs and nurses, and to make contraception more durable to entry. It is harmful, excessive, and out of contact.”

Celinda Lake, a Democratic pollster who has labored with Biden, mentioned the White Home technique on abortion had three objectives.

“You may create an environment and put strain on these states to make it tougher to cross draconian restrictions,” she mentioned. As well as, Lake mentioned, “you may arrange the distinction for 2024″ and “you should utilize this as a significant motivator for folks to end up to vote.”

Democrats have concluded that the Supreme Court docket’s resolution to overturn Roe v. Wade reshaped the political panorama for final 12 months’s elections, rejuvenating the celebration’s possibilities when analysts had anticipated a Republican wipeout.

Democrats nonetheless misplaced management of the Home and expanded their Senate majority by just one vote, that means laws that will create a nationwide proper to abortion stays out of attain.

There are issues that Biden and his administration have exhausted their choices for government actions.

The Meals and Drug Administration introduced this month that abortion capsules would change into extra broadly out there at pharmacies and thru the mail. The capsules can be obtained by a digital appointment, fairly than by visiting a physician’s workplace.

A authorized battle is now taking part in out in federal court docket in Texas, the place abortion opponents have sued to undo the decades-old approval of the medication.

“The administration is de facto taking a look at current federal legislation, and making an attempt to leverage it,” mentioned Lawrence Gostin, who runs the O’Neill Institute for Nationwide and International Well being at Georgetown Legislation.

Not the entire administration’s concepts have panned out. Biden introduced final 12 months that states may apply for waivers to make use of Medicaid {dollars} to pay for girls to journey to get abortions. No waivers have been sought.

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