VP Harris to embark on national reproductive freedoms tour

Vice President Kamala Harris announced on Tuesday that she would be embarking on a national tour next year to advocate for women’s reproductive freedoms.

“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 said in a statement.

The first stop of the tour will take place in Wisconsin on Jan. 22, the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. The tour’s remaining stops have not yet been announced. 

Harris will “host events that highlight the harm caused by these abortion bans while sharing stories of those who have been impacted,” the press release said.

The tour announcement comes one week after Biden-Harris campaign officials indicated in a call with reporters that they would make abortion a central issue of President Joe Biden’s re-election bid. They specifically expressed plans to elevate personal stories like that of Kate Cox, who had to travel out of Texas to undergo an abortion procedure after her fetus was diagnosed with a deadly disorder that could have also impacted her fertility. 

Vice President Harris Delivers Remarks On Dobbs V. Jackson Women's Health Ruling Anniversary
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks on the anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in Charlotte, North Carolina, on June 24, 2023.

Erik S. Lesser/EPA/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Biden-Harris campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said on the call that cases like Cox’s are “extremely powerful because it shows, you know, the realities of white women and, you know, health care providers are facing in this moment. You know, with Roe being, you know, overturned, it’s just, we have a patchwork of state laws that are impacting the lives of women every single day.”

Biden-Harris campaign officials also said they would attempt to tie restrictive abortion laws to former president Donald Trump’s legacy, but they emphasized that all the candidates vying for the Republican presidential nomination “want to rip away Americans’ freedoms.”

“I mean, every single Republican running in this race is as extreme as the next when it comes to abortion. You’ve got DeSantis and Haley who signed abortion bans, and we’re talking about signing anything that comes across their desk,” said Michael Tyler, communications director for the Biden-Harris campaign. “And so that stands again in stark contrast to the President & Vice President who are promising to restore Roe.”

Mr. Biden signed an executive order last year to address abortion access, and Harris has helmed the issue following the Dobbs decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The Biden-Harris campaign’s push to make abortion a central feature appears to signify its intent to nationalize an issue that has been handed back to state legislators.

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