By Karen Stokes
Vice President Kamala Harris gave a speech Sunday in Tallahassee, Florida’s capital city, to mark the 50th anniversary of the now overturned Roe v. Wade.
For nearly 50 years, Americans relied on the rights that Roe protected,” she said. “Today, however, on what would have been its 50th anniversary, we speak of the Roe decision in the past tense.”
In June, The Supreme Court officially reversed Roe v. Wade which immediately rolled back abortion rights in almost half of the states, and led to many more restrictions.
“She talked about the impact and real consequences that decision has had on women’s health across the country,” said Jen Klein, Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Gender Policy Council.
The consequences of the Supreme Court’s ruling are not only limited to women who need reproductive care. Other basic healthcare is at risk.
“Consider Emma, a 14-year-old who lives in Arizona. So Emma manages her chronic arthritis with medication that allows her to go to school and live without constant pain. But the medication that helps her can also cause pregnancy loss. So within weeks of the Dobbs decision, her pharmacy initially refused to fill her prescription, afraid that they could be prosecuted under the state’s radical law.” Harris said.
The FDA changed a rule to allow retail pharmacies to fill prescriptions for abortion pills, Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration reportedly sent a letter out to pharmacists telling them that dispensing the abortion pill could lead to criminal charges, according to npr.org.
“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.”
“There’s a real fight at the state level while we continue to fight at the federal level. We’ve seen more than 16 anti choice bills have been proposed for the 2023 legislative session.
In Wisconsin there will be a lot of controversy and strong opinions. We will be supporting the state legislature, governors and attorneys general to both protect against extreme proposals and to try to advance protections to exercise their right to choose,” said Klein.
“Two surprises, in Kansas and Kentucky, people made their voices heard that they are not for extreme bans, they are for preserving the right for women to choose even in the state constitution,” Klein said.
“Can we truly be free if so-called leaders claim to be, I quote, ‘on the vanguard of freedom,’ while they dare to restrict the rights of the American people and attack the very foundation of freedom,” the Vice President said. “Let us not be tired or discouraged, ‘cause we’re on the right side of history. Today I invite all Americans to join us, and remember … when we fight, we win.”