Biden-Harris go all in for ‘reproductive freedom’ 

Kamala Harris Vice President Kamala Harris speaks about Florida’s new six-week abortion ban during an event at the Prime Osborn Convention Center on May 1, 2024, in Jacksonville, Florida. | Credit: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Just six months from Election Day, the Biden-Harris administration is ramping up its campaign rhetoric and going all in on abortion.

Here’s what is going on with abortion throughout the country. 

Vice President Harris calls pro-life laws ‘immoral’ 

Over the last several weeks Vice President Kamala Harris has been touting the Biden administration’s support for unrestricted abortion on her “Reproductive Freedoms Tour.” 

At a stop in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, on Tuesday, Harris slammed states such as Texas whose pro-life laws do not allow exceptions for abortion in cases of rape and incest. 

“The idea that these so-called leaders would say even no exception for rape or incest, to say to a survivor of a crime of violence to their body, of violation to their body, that you a survivor of that don’t have a right to make a decision about what happens to your body next, that’s immoral,” Harris said.  

Second gentleman Doug Emhoff also made headlines last week when he held an event with Men4Choice in Atlanta to encourage men to advocate for abortion. 

“This is an issue of fairness to women. Women are dying,” Emhoff told NBC News. “These freedoms are affecting all Americans, not just women.”

Both Harris and President Joe Biden continue to project confidence that Americans will turn out en masse to vote in favor of abortion. 

“Momentum is on our side,” Harris said at a tour stop in Jacksonville, Florida, last week. “Since Roe was overturned, every time reproductive freedom has been on the ballot the people of America voted for freedom.” 

New York throws out abortion amendment

On Tuesday, New York Supreme Court Judge Daniel Doyle ruled that a referendum to enshrine a right to abortion in the state’s constitution cannot appear on the ballot in November because supporters did not follow the proper procedure laid out in the state constitution. 

The text of the proposed “Equal Rights Amendment” avoids the use of the word “abortion” but was widely seen as creating a constitutional protection for women to access abortion through all nine months of pregnancy. 

“The constitution is the supreme will of the people,” Doyle said in his ruling. 

“This court cannot condone the actions taken by the Legislature in derogation of the expressed will of the people,” Doyle continued. “The Legislature’s vote … prior to receiving the opinion of the attorney general frustrated the deliberative process intended by the people in [the state constitution].”

New York Attorney General Letitia James said in a post on X that she intends to appeal the ruling.

Similar abortion amendments will be on the ballot in Florida, Maryland, and as many as 11 other states.

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California sees sharp rise in abortions after Roe overturn

California saw a sharp increase in abortion numbers last year, with 178,300 unborn babies killed in the state in 2023, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

An increase of about 24,360 — or 16% — from 2020, this is a 10-year high for abortions in one year, according to Yahoo News

This comes in the first full year since the overturn of Roe v. Wade and after California further expanded abortion laws and made it easier for out-of-state women to enter to obtain abortions. 

According to Guttmacher, 5,160 out-of-state women obtained abortions in California in 2023. Though a high number, this is still well behind other states such as Illinois, which in 2023 had 36,810 out-of-state abortions, and North Carolina, which had 15,910. 

Missouri governor to defund Planned Parenthood

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced that he will sign a bill to defund Medicaid reimbursements for abortion providers, including Planned Parenthood. 

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Passed by the majority-Republican state Legislature on April 25, the bill states that “no public funds shall be expended to any abortion facility, or affiliate thereof.” 

The bill also states that “any taxpayer, as well as the attorney general, shall have standing to bring a cause of action in any court or administrative agency of competent jurisdiction to enforce these provisions.” 

Abortion is only legal in cases when the mother’s life is at risk in Missouri. However, a ballot proposal legalizing abortion through viability has reached enough signatures to be included on the November ballot. 

After Parson signs the bill, the law will go into effect on Aug. 28.

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