Abortion providers to meet with Kamala Harris virtually at the White House
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Vice President Kamala Harris will meet virtually with abortion providers at the White House on Thursday morning, as the Supreme Court considers a key abortion case after an opinion overturning Roe v. Wade (1973) leaked earlier this month.
Harris will speak with abortion providers over livestream video in a 2 p.m. Eastern event at the White House Thursday, a White House official told Fox News. The vice president will provide opening remarks, speak with the providers, and engage with pro-choice advocates in the audience.
Harris will hear stories from abortion providers working in states with the tightest restrictions on abortion. She will thank them for fighting to protect reproductive health care, despite personal risk, and vow that the administration will defend women’s access to abortion, the official told Fox News.
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Confirmed participants include Dr. Rebecca Taub, an OB/GYN practicing in California, Oklahoma, and Kansas; Dr. Bhavik Kumar, an OB/GYN with Planned Parenthood practicing in Texas; Dr. Colleen McNicholas, chief medical officer for Planned Parenthood of St. Louis, Missouri; and Helen Weems, a registered nurse and founding director of All Families Healthcare in Montana.
Harris, a longtime advocate of abortion rights, previously met with abortion providers in Sept. 2021 to discuss the impact of Texas’ S.B. 8. As California attorney general, she signed onto multiple amicus briefs to defend abortion access.
The vice president reacted strongly when Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed that Justice Samuel Alito’s draft opinion in the Dobbs case striking down Roe was genuine. Although the draft dates back to February, and it does not represent the current or final opinion of the Court, Harris declared that “the rights of all Americans are at risk.”
“Roe ensures a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion,” Harris said. “It also, at its root, protects the fundamental right to privacy. What is clear is that opponents of Roe want to punish women and take away their rights to make decisions about their own bodies. Republican legislators in states across the country are weaponizing the use of the law against women.”
The vice president argued that “if the right to privacy is weakened, every person could face a future in which the government can potentially interfere in the personal decisions you make about your life. This is the time to fight for women and for our country with everything we have.”
Amid protests at the Court and at the homes of justices, authorities ramped up security, setting up a fence around the Court and assigning security details to the justices.
In Dec. 2021, Harris predicted that “women will die” if Roe is overturned.
Melanie Israel, a policy analyst at the Heritage Foundation’s DeVos Center for Religion and Civil Society, faulted Harris for pitting women against their children.
“We shouldn’t pit women against their children — we should protect them both,” Israel told Fox News. “Abortion isn’t safe. It carries significant risks to women and ends the life of hundreds of thousands of unborn children in America each year.”
Lila Rose, founder and president of Live action, told Fox News that Harris’ “callous disregard for children and their right to be born is a disgrace.”
“The lives of children are just as valuable as the lives of adults, and it should be every politician’s most pressing duty to ensure our laws protect the most vulnerable,” she said. “Instead, Harris wants the law to sanction the greatest human rights abuse and mass slaughter of children our nation has ever seen.”
States with Democratic legislatures have passed laws codifying abortion in case Roe gets overturned. Gov. Jared Polis, D-Colo., signed a law creating a “fundamental right” to abortion and denying any right for the unborn. In 2019, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, D-N.Y., signed a law codifying abortion rights and explicitly removing protections from unborn infants. The Connecticut legislature has passed a bill aimed at combating abortion restrictions in other states.
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Meanwhile, states with Republican legislatures have passed laws restricting abortion, with Texas and Idaho passing laws allowing private citizens to file civil suits against individuals who aid or abet abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, at about 6 weeks of pregnancy.
While many polls suggest Americans support Roe, in-depth polling reveals a more complicated picture. When asked about their opinion on abortion during specific periods of pregnancy and other situations, 71% of Americans say they support restricting abortion to the first three months of pregnancy (22%), or in other limited circumstances such as rape and incest (28%), to save the life of the mother (9%) or not at all (12%). Only 17% of Americans said abortion should be available during an entire pregnancy and 12% said it should be restricted to the first six months.