Vice President Kamala Harris said Monday that the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, the landmark decision legalizing abortion, is likely to jeopardize other rights, including gay marriage and birth control.
She said Judge Clarence Thomas, who challenged those rights in a consensus opinion, had merely “said the soft part out loud” while the conservative wing of the court was increasingly asserting itself.
“I definitely think this isn’t over yet,” she said in a CNN interview, her first one-on-one since the Supreme Court issued its historic 5-4 abortion ruling.
Harris is becoming a leading government advocate for abortion rights. The issue has angered Democrats who are scrambling to find ways to counter Republican efforts to limit and ban abortion in various states following the Supreme Court decision.
The vice president said in the interview that she was on Air Force Two when the announcement came, en route to Aurora, Illinois to present government policy on maternal health. She said she was shocked when she heard the news and watched the coverage on her plane’s television.
“They actually did it,” Harris recalled, thinking at that moment. “The court actually took a constitutional right that had been recognized for half a century and took it away from the women of America. That is shocking.”
Harris pledged to do whatever it takes to fight for women who want abortions. However, she declined to support changing the Senate’s filibuster rules to allow a simple majority to codify abortion rights nationally. And she said the government is not discussing plans by some groups that would involve using federal land to perform abortions in states that have banned the procedure.
Instead, she said, the government is focused on keeping drug-induced abortions available and ensuring low-income women have the ability to travel to states that allow doctors to perform them, if necessary.
Harris said the Biden administration is considering using travel vouchers for low-income women who may need to travel from their home states to seek medical care. She pointed out that many of these women could not afford such trips because they also had to pay for childcare and other expenses.
https://www.latimes.com/politics/story/2022-06-27/kamala-harris-warns-abortion-rights-are-only-the-beginning Kamala Harris warns abortion rights are only the beginning