Kamala Harris to make historic abortion clinic visit amid re-election push

Washington DC - Vice President Kamala Harris will tour an abortion clinic Thursday, highlighting a key election issue in what is reported to be the first such visit by a president or vice president.

Kamala Harris is set to become the first vice president to visit an abortion clinic.
Kamala Harris is set to become the first vice president to visit an abortion clinic.  © JASON CONNOLLY / AFP

Her visit to Minnesota is part of Harris's nationwide tour highlighting reproductive rights following the Supreme Court's 2022 reversal of the nationwide right to abortion.

A White House official said that Harris, while in the twin cities of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, would "visit a health center that provides a range of reproductive care including abortion, birth control, and preventative wellness services."

The Democrat would "walk through the facility with the clinic provider, speak with staff, and hear how Minnesota has been impacted by extreme abortion bans in other states that threaten women's health."

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Women in neighboring states have been forced to travel to Minnesota for abortions because of the bans, which also penalize doctors who carry out the procedure, the official said.

President Joe Biden's re-election campaign has highlighted the issue as a potential vote winner, with his Republican rival Donald Trump repeatedly claiming credit for picking the conservative Supreme Court justices who enabled the decision.

Abortion becomes key pillar of Biden-Harris re-election campaign

Kamala Harris (pictured) has pushed for the restoration of Roe v. Wade should she and President Biden be re-elected.
Kamala Harris (pictured) has pushed for the restoration of Roe v. Wade should she and President Biden be re-elected.  © SAUL LOEB / AFP

Biden fiercely defended reproductive rights in his annual State of the Union address to Congress last week, warning Republican anti-abortion lawmakers of the "power of women."

He also pledged to resist any attempt to bring in a federal abortion ban and said he would push to enshrine the right to the procedure in law if he wins a second term.

The White House has highlighted the erosion of reproductive rights since the conservative-dominated Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, the 1973 ruling that had protected abortion access nationwide nearly two years ago.

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Biden is a devout Catholic, but as president, he has stood firm in his support for abortion access.

Such protections have prevailed on every state ballot initiative related to the issue since Roe was overturned, giving Democrats hope it will be at the front of voters' minds in November.

First Lady Jill Biden hosted two key figures in the reproductive rights fight for the president's speech last week.

One was Kate Cox, a Texas mother who sued last year for the right to an abortion but was forced to travel out of state for the emergency termination of her nonviable pregnancy.

Also present was Latorya Beasley of Alabama, whose in-vitro fertilization process was interrupted when the state's supreme court ruled last month that frozen embryos should be considered children.

Cover photo: JASON CONNOLLY / AFP

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