Tallahassee – Vice President Kamala Harris on Sunday, President Biden sign the memorandum Continue to advance federal legislation that protects access to abortion drugs and restores abortion rights on the 50th anniversary of the now-overturned Roe v. Wade decision.
Speaking in front of about 1,500 people in Tallahassee, Harris said the government recognizes it is on the “right side of history.”
“The right of every woman in every state in the country to make decisions about her body is at stake,” Harris said at 1,500 people inside The Moon Nightclub, just blocks from the Florida State Capitol. told a crowd of
“Republicans in Congress are now calling for a nationwide ban on abortion during pregnancy. What about them?” she added.
Harris goes head to head with DeSantis
Since the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Roe v. Wade in June, 12 states have implemented near-total bans on abortion, and legal challenges have been filed against some of these proceedings. increase.
Elective abortion is also not available in two other states, and a ban approved in three more states was later blocked by courts.
Harris’ decision to visit the Florida capital to mark the 50th anniversary of the legalization of abortion in the United States was at the crossroads of the state’s position at a crossroads in determining the future of abortion in the state and Republican Ron DeSantis. Both highlighted the governor’s emergence as a potential rival. to next year’s President Biden.
In April, DeSantis signed into law the state’s toughest abortion law in nearly half a century, banning most abortions after 15 weeks’ gestation, with no exceptions for rape or incest, and 24 weeks’ gestation. Lowered the bar.
The governor signed new abortion restrictions at an Orlando-area church, surrounded by women and children and cheered by pastors, anti-abortion activists and other supporters.
But the White House is also opposing a warning Florida health officials recently sent to pharmacies that dispensing abortion pills is illegal. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently approved the use of the pill.
In his speech, Harris focused directly on defending DeSantis and his concept of a “free Florida.”
“America is the land of the free, the home of the brave. If women can’t make decisions about their bodies, can we really be free?” said in response to the cheers. Free if the family can’t make intimate decisions about the course of their lives? ”
“Can we really be free if so-called leaders claim to be ‘heralds of liberty’ and then dare to limit the rights of the American people and attack the very foundations of liberty?” she asked.
Florida is now one of 22 states that are against medical abortion, according to Harris.
Harris on Sunday spoke just under 18 minutes before standing audience who braved intermittent rain to attend an event at a nightclub. A&M University turned down the Vice President’s attendance, sources close to the event confirmed.
DeSantis was in Kansas City on Saturday, gaining momentum in the polls
DeSantis was in Kansas City for Saturday’s Chiefs NFL playoff game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. It was not clear if Harris was in Tallahassee on Sunday when he spoke.
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But DeSantis emerged as Saturday’s frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination in a straw vote of 2,000 young people attending the National Pro-Life Summit in Washington, DC.
DeSantis is backed by nearly 54% of respondents, well ahead of former President Donald Trump in second place with just under 20%.
The day before, tens of thousands of anti-abortion activists gathered on the National Mall for speeches and demonstrations, with views of the US Capitol. It was the first such summit since the June court ruling.
Yet, multiple polls since that decision have found that a majority of Americans support access to legal abortion.
And given that such a measure from the Republican-led House of Representatives would be rejected by the Democratic-led Senate, it seems unlikely that federal legislation would further restrict abortion nationwide. .
Instead, the main battlefield will be the states.
“Get it clear: the majority of Americans are against these attacks. Americans of all backgrounds in all communities are voicing their views,” Harris said.
A protester stood outside in the rain holding a “Choose Life” sign. In a statement leading up to her speech, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of Susan B. Anthony ProLife America, said she would “stop brutal abortion” and “protect young girls” when fetuses could be in pain. praised the governor for being “daring” to do so.
Abortion restrictions likely to tighten in Florida
In Florida, anti-abortionists expect DeSantis to call for a so-called heartbeat bill that could ban most abortions in six weeks. While other activists are pushing for an outright ban, lawmakers this year instead predict more modest steps, including shortening the current law to 12 weeks and adding major exceptions. .Good feeling.
But DeSantis is the de facto leader of the Republican-majority Florida legislature. So far, no word on how far he’ll go in a state where polls show a majority of voters in favor of access to abortion and against overturning Roe v. Wade last year. Hmm.
Biden Harris’ ticket lost Florida to former President Donald Trump and running mate Mike Pence in 2020 by 3.3%. , may have ended the state’s image as a politically messed-up state by the widest margin in 40 years of Florida gubernatorial elections.
After the Supreme Court overturned federal abortion rights and gave states full power to create their own policies, DeSantis promised to “expand pro-life protection.” It has not provided any insight into what changes it might seek when Congress opens.
Others who spoke on Sunday before Harris included Planned Parenthood national and state leaders.
“When people want to know where this administration stands when it comes to our reproductive freedoms, you tell them, they are adamant.
“Americans should not be oppressed by hostile forces,” she added. “They should be lifted by hope and possibility. This is what leadership looks like.”
Planned Parenthood physicians associated with the organization’s clinics in southwest and central Florida said the state’s abortion restrictions would have serious implications for working families and minority communities.
Dr. Sujata Prabhakaran, an obstetrician in Sarasota, said many struggle with complex reproductive health decisions while juggling parenthood and work obligations.
“We must continue to act for our communities and need leaders to support our fight for true reproductive freedom,” Prabhakaran said.
Florida Senate Democratic leader Lauren Book of Plantation spoke Sunday while holding her 5-year-old daughter Kennedy.
“This war was never about life,” Book told the crowd. “It was always about control.”
John Kennedy is a reporter for the USA TODAY Network’s Florida Capital Bureau. You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or @JKennedyReport on Twitter.
http://rssfeeds.floridatoday.com/~/725227400/0/brevard/news~Can-we-truly-be-free-VP-Harris-blasts-DeSantis-outlines-steps-to-defend-abortion-access/ Vice President Harris of Tallahassee denounces DeSantis, vows to fight for access to abortion