Vice President Kamala Harris rallied voters in Wisconsin in a new call to safeguard women's reproductive rights on Monday, the 51st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling that guaranteed privacy for reproductive choices.
Harris labeled Republicans as extremists for their efforts to eliminate abortion access and protections, and took particular issue with former President Donald Trump saying he was "proud" to have been part of the effort.
“Proud that women across our nation are suffering?” Harris said. “Proud that women have been robbed of a fundamental freedom? Proud that doctors could be thrown in prison for caring for their patients? That young women today have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers?”
Harris called back to the U.S. founding principles of liberty.
“In America, freedom is not to be given. It is not to be bestowed. It is ours by right,” she said. “And that includes the freedom to make decisions about one’s own body — not the government telling you what to do.”
Wisconsin is embroiled in a legal and legislative battle over access to abortion. After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Wisconsin Republicans argued that a law still in effect from 1849 would effectively make abortions illegal in the state, except in cases where it would save the life of the mother.
This caused state clinics to stop offering abortions until a court ruled in July of 2023 that the law didn't apply to medical abortions given with consent of the mother.
Republicans appealed the ruling, which is now likely to be decided by the state supreme court.
Vice President Harris' Wisconsin appearance is the first in a nationwide tour to support abortion rights. President Biden, Vice President Harris, first lady Jill Biden and second gentleman Doug Emhoff will take the same message to a campaign stop in Virginia on Tuesday.
The White House Monday also took new steps to protect reproductive health care access.
The administration's actions aim to make access to contraception easier and cheaper for women with private health insurance, enforce obligations by insurers to cover affordable contraception and make sure access to medicated abortion remains safe and legal.
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