Skip to Content

Harris makes abortion rights a front-and-center issue in Indiana

<i>Paras Griffin/Getty Images</i><br/>Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during the 2022 Essence Festival of Culture at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 2
Getty Images for Essence
Paras Griffin/Getty Images
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during the 2022 Essence Festival of Culture at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 2

By Maegan Vazquez, CNN

Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Indiana on Monday ahead of the state’s special legislative session to take up an abortion ban — her latest trip in a series of stops around the country focused on reproductive rights following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

The visit comes as reproductive rights have emerged as a top issue in her broad portfolio, with the vice president’s trip to the Hoosier State marking her seventh engagement with state legislators since the high court struck down the federal right to abortion.

Indiana lawmakers are reconvening Monday afternoon to consider additional restrictions on the procedure — the first state to hold a special session with the goal of curtailing abortion rights since the court’s decision last month.

The GOP-authored bill would prohibit abortion unless the procedure was necessary to prevent a “substantial permanent impairment” to the life of the pregnant person. The bill would also bar abortion clinics from performing surgical abortions and require in-person dispensation of an abortion-inducing drug used in a medication abortion. It would include exceptions in cases of rape or incest so long as the pregnant person provides the physician with an affidavit attesting to the rape or incest.

At the roundtable in Indianapolis with Indiana lawmakers, Harris said that the court’s decision “took a constitutional right that had been recognized from the people of America — the women of America.”

“Let’s contemplate what that means in and of itself — that in a land that was founded on the important principles of freedom and liberty, that such a thing would happen,” she continued.

The Biden administration has taken steps since the Supreme Court’s decision to attempt to ensure some reproductive health protections. But President Joe Biden has not gone as far as to declare a national or public health emergency on the matter, which members of Congress and reproductive rights organizations have continued to call for.

The Center for Reproductive Rights told CNN that the White House has continued to meet with them and other reproductive rights organizations to discuss the matter.

Harris did not answer questions from the press on Monday about whether she would support such an emergency.

But she argued that Americans don’t have to abandon their faith “to agree that the government should not be making this decision,” adding that the Supreme Court’s decision has “created a health care crisis” in America.

“When you understand how a woman’s body works, you will understand that the parameters that are being proposed mean that for the vast majority of women, by the time she realizes she’s pregnant, she will effectively be prohibited from having access to reproductive health care that would allow her to choose what happens to her body,” she continued.

She also highlighted how the court’s decision may put other established rights at risk.

“We are looking at an interpretation of the Constitution that suggests (Justice) Clarence Thomas said the quiet part out loud, that this puts at risk an individual’s right to make decisions about contraception, puts at risk the right to marry the person you love,” Harris said. “So when we discuss this issue and when we contemplate what it means, understand that it can have a profound impact on just about everyone in our country who has any association or concern about these very issues.”

The vice president previously convened state legislators at the White House to discuss abortion, and she has held roundtable discussions on the issue in Orlando, Florida, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Atlantic City, New Jersey and Charlotte, North Carolina, this month. She also discussed the issue at Essence Festival in New Orleans at the beginning of July.

™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.

CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi, Chandelis Duster, Betsy Klein and Jasmine Wright contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

Jump to comments ↓

CNN Newsource


KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content