Following last summer’s decision that overturned the precedent set by Roe, Vice President Harris will make remarks in Florida on Sunday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision, hoping to bring attention back to abortion rights. Harris will visit Florida to draw attention to the administration’s initiatives to defend reproductive rights and access to abortion, where Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) passed a restriction on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy into law last year.
A White House official described the vice president’s planned remarks as “the vice president will argue for national legislation to preserve reproductive rights and she will draw a contrast between the Republicans’ radical approach to reproductive health and that of the Biden-Harris Administration.”
According to senior administration officials, Florida was chosen because it was “in the vanguard” of the struggle for reproductive healthcare. According to authorities, Harris intends to oppose legislation in Congress that restricts access to abortions, Republican efforts to enact a federal abortion ban, and state initiatives to adopt draconian abortion laws. The administration’s executive steps to preserve reproductive rights will also be a major topic of the speech.
In the Biden administration, the vice president has taken the lead in opposing the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and her statement will be the primary means by which the White House recognizes the anniversary of the landmark decision.
In the seven months since Roe v. Wade was overruled, Harris, the first female vice president, has visited with activists, state and local politicians, and health care providers multiple times to express support for access to abortion and reproductive health.
Although some conservatives have contended that there should be federal law defining a minimum cutoff for abortions, the Supreme Court’s decision essentially returned the matter to the states. In the meantime, the White House and Democrats have pressed Congress to codify Roe v. Wade’s protections.
However, any federal legislation is unlikely to pass during this Congress given the division in congressional control.
As one of their first votes with a new majority, House Republicans approved two anti-abortion bills: one that would have fined doctors who refused to treat babies born alive after an abortion attempt and another that would have condemned attacks on pro-life facilities like crisis pregnancy centers. Officials from the administration vowed to keep working to guarantee access to abortion. On Sunday, in addition to Harris’ remarks, President Biden will make a statement and issue a presidential proclamation to commemorate the law’s anniversary.
Xavier Becerra, secretary of health and and services, will also travel to Minnesota and stop by a Planned Parenthood facility. He will also be in Wisconsin, where he will participate in an event alongside Rep. Gwen Moore and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc (D-Wisc.).
According to officials, the purpose of his visit is to draw attention to the disparities between Wisconsin, which has “allowed for government intrusion in very personal medical decisions,” and Minnesota, which is taking steps to defend access to abortion.
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