This week would have marked the 50th anniversary of the Roe v Wade decision by the Supreme Court, which enshrined the federal constitutional right to abortion into law.
But about half a year ago in 2022, the conservative-stacked Supreme Court overturned Roe and thereby eliminated this constitutional right.
Vice President Kamala Harris commemorated the anniversary, saying for nearly half a century Americans relied on the rights that the ruling protected.
“Today, however, on what would have been its 50th anniversary, we speak of the Roe decision in the past tense,” Harris said.
Harris said that abortion rights are under attack across America now.
A whopping 60 anti-abortion bills have been filed in the 2023 legislative session already. And more than 26 million women currently live in states that have banned abortion.
The landmark Roe ruling that the Supreme Court made on Jan. 22, 1973, guaranteed the constitutional right to an abortion for nearly half a century.
The Supreme Court officially reversed Roe v. Wade in June 2022, which immediately rolled back abortion rights in almost half of the states, and led to many more restrictions.
In speaking in Florida, Harris delivered a speech in a state which passed a 15-week abortion ban into law.
“The right of every woman in every state in the country to make decisions about her own body is on the line,” Harris said. “Republicans in Congress are now calling for an abortion ban at the moment of conception nationwide. How dare they?”
In her speech, Harris spoke directly to the anti-abortion rights policies implemented by Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, and state officials.
“Here, in Florida, health care providers face prison — prison! — for up to five years for simply doing their job,” Harris said. “And now the state has also targeted medication abortion, and even threatened Florida pharmacists with criminal charges if they provide medication prescribed by medical professionals.”
Addressing the U.S. more broadly, Harris said that the Biden administration would be working to expand abortion access. She said that abortion is the right of every woman, in every state, to make decisions about her own body.
“A majority of Americans oppose these attacks,” Harris said, adding voters in states including Kansas, California, Michigan, Montana, Kentucky, and Vermont affirmed abortion rights in ballot proposals.