Kamala Harris visits Minnesota clinic that performs abortions:

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VP Kamala Harris makes history during Minnesota visit


VP Kamala Harris makes history during Minnesota visit

02:14

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Vice President Kamala Harris visited a Minnesota women’s reproductive health clinic that performs abortion services during her visit to the state Thursday, which her office is touting as the first time that either a sitting president or vice president has visited a reproductive health clinic.

“I am here at this health care clinic to uplift the work that is happening here, in Minnesota,  as an example of what true leadership looks like,” said Harris. 

As the Biden-Harris campaign has sought to highlight the issue of abortion as well as women’s reproductive health, Harris warned “we are facing a very serious health issue” in the U.S.

Using some of the strongest language that the administration has used so far to show their advocacy for abortion rights, Harris said these attacks against an “individual’s right to make decisions about their own body are outrageous and in many instances, plain old immoral.”

“How dare these elected leaders who are in believe they are in a better position to tell women what they need, to tell women what is in their best interests,” Harris said. “We have to be a nation that trusts women.” 

While abortion access has been enshired in Minnesota since 1995 in a state Supreme Court decision, Harris pointed that the facilities are often providing care to women who have to travel to the state to receive abortions. The procedure is currently illegal in more than a dozen states, including Minnesota neighbors North Dakota and South Dakota, and is restricted in Iowa and Wisconsin.

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris visits an abortion clinic in Minneapolis
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks with Dr. Sarah Traxler and Minnesota Governor Tim Walz as she visits an abortion clinic in Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S., March 14, 2024.

Nicole Neri / REUTERS


Harris toured the facility, spoke with staff and was briefed on how Minnesota has been affected by abortion bans in surrounding states. The center provides a range of services, including abortion, birth control and preventative wellness care. 

Her office said she was also scheduled to speak later at a campaign event tailored to women. The visit is part of her nationwide “Fight for Reproductive Freedoms” tour, which is a White House initiative.

Abortion rights have become a major talking point in President Biden campaign’s reelection bid as he and Harris attempt to connect restrictive abortion laws to former President Donald Trump and contrast themselves as candidates with an agenda of restoring abortion protections. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2022 overturned Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.

The DFL-led legislature last year further bolstered abortion rights by passing a state law guaranteeing a “fundamental right” to the procedure. They credited the backlash against the U.S. Supreme Court decision for their takeover of the state Senate and for keeping their House majority in a year when Republicans expected to make gains.

An update to Minnesota’s equal rights amendment, which would add language to the state constitution if approved by voters, will include provisions aimed at protecting access to abortion when advocates push for it this year.

At a campaign event earlier this year in Wisconsin, Harris took direct aim at Trump for saying he was “proud” of helping to limit abortions. Trump nominated three conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court during his term in office prior to the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.

At this point in the 2024 presidential election, both Mr. Biden and Trump have enough delegates to be considered their parties’ presumptive nominees for president, setting up a 2020 contest rematch.

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