Kamala Harris Leads Abortion Fight, Makes It A Key Poll Issue
WASHINGTON, DC (IANS) – US Vice President Kamala Harris has started a nationwide tour in Wisconsin, a swing state, to preserve “reproductive freedoms” threatened by calls of restriction from Republicans.
The Biden re-election campaign is putting abortion rights centerstage in a bid to galvanize the party base, and the Vice President, who has emerged as the administration’s most forceful campaigner on this issue, will be in the lead.
Harris will be joined by President Joe Biden, at a campaign event in Virginia, another swing state where the party won both state legislatures with abortion as a key issue. They will be joined by their spouses making it the first time they will share a stage after Biden announced his re-election bid last April. Harris will carry on her nationwide tour from there.
“Extremists across our country continue to wage a full-on attack against hard-won, hard-fought freedoms as they push their radical policies – from banning abortion in all 50 states and criminalizing doctors to forcing women to travel out of state in order to get the care they need,” Harris had said in a statement when the tour was announced in December.
“I will continue to fight for our fundamental freedoms while bringing together those throughout America who agree that every woman should have the right to make decisions about her own body – not the government.”
Abortion was a constitutional right in the US guaranteed by a Supreme Court ruling in 1973. It was overturned in June 2022 by the conservative justices of the Supreme Court, who now dominate the bench with the addition of three nominated by former President Donald Trump, a Republican.
The court ruled that the issue should be settled by the states individually and for themselves.
The blowback was furious and across party lines. President Biden’s Democratic party rode it to cushion anti-incumbency in the midterm polls in 2022. Several deeply conservative states have since voted to preserve abortion rights. But these rights are under severe threat in other states such as Texas, which recently rejected a woman’s plea for abortion citing a medical emergency.
In the 18 months since the case was struck down, Harris has been the administration’s face in the fight to restore abortion rights. She traveled to eight states in 2023 on a “Fight for Our Freedoms” tour of colleges.