Kamala Harris makes historic visit to abortion clinic

Kamala Harris makes historic visit to abortion clinic
via C-SPAN
Michelle De Pacina
March 15, 2024
Vice President Kamala Harris made a visit to an abortion clinic in Minnesota on Thursday, marking the first such visit by any U.S. president or vice president.
Key points:
  • Harris visited a Planned Parenthood clinic, highlighting the Biden administration’s prioritization of reproductive rights in the 2024 presidential race.
  • During her visit on Thursday, protesters gathered outside to voice their opposition, holding signs that read “life is a human right” and “abortion kills a human being.”
The details:
  • Harris emphasized the importance of addressing the health crisis faced by women in states with new abortion restrictions after the overturning of Roe v. Wade in 2022. “Right now, in our country, we are facing a very serious health crisis. And the crisis is affecting many, many people in our country, most of whom are, frankly, silently suffering,” she said.
  • The vice president condemned neighboring states’ abortion restrictions as “immoral” and stressed the importance of trusting women’s healthcare decisions. “It is absolutely about health care and reproductive health care. So everyone get ready for the language: ‘uterus.’ That part of the body needs a lot of medical care from time to time,” she told reporters.
  • At the clinic Harris visited, which is located near the city line between St. Paul and Minneapolis, she met with two dozen clinic staff, including Dr. Sarah Traxler, who noted that the ​​number of patients visiting the clinic from out of state has doubled. Minnesota is a state that guarantees abortion rights, leading to an influx of women from neighboring states with bans.
  • Biden has promised to reinstate protections provided by Roe v. Wade if Democrats regain full control of Congress, but he often frames the issue as the “right to choose” rather than explicitly mentioning “abortion.” Harris’s visit to the clinic showcased her more assertive approach compared to Biden’s stance, as she openly discussed women’s health needs and the clinic’s services. 
Pro-life opposition: 
  • Protesters outside the clinic voiced their disagreement with Harris’s visit, while the vice president criticized Donald Trump‘s role in restricting abortion rights. “Let us all recognize who is to blame. The former president handpicked three members of the United States Supreme Court with the intention that they would overturn Roe. He intended for them to take your freedoms. And he brags about it,” she said.
  • Cathy Blaeser, co-executive director of an anti-abortion group in Minnesota, criticized the Biden administration’s stance on abortion, saying, “Minnesotans don’t want to be known for abortion tourism.”
What’s next:
  • Democrats will likely continue to prioritize reproductive rights as a key issue in the upcoming elections. Voter mobilization and advocacy efforts focused on reproductive rights are expected to intensify leading up to the elections.
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