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Harris visits Planned Parenthood clinic: 'We have to be a nation that trusts women'

Vice President Harris visited a Planned Parenthood clinic in Minnesota on Thursday, a significant and symbolic stop as she advocated for reproductive health care access for women in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Harris became the first sitting president or vice president to visit a facility that provides abortion services with her visit to the St. Paul clinic.

“I am here at this health care clinic to uplift the work that is happening in Minnesota as an example of what true leadership looks like,” she said after a tour of the facility. “Which is to understand it is only right and fair that people have access to the health care they need, and that they have access to health care in an environment where they are treated with dignity and respect.”

Harris noted the clinic offered abortion care, contraceptive care and breast cancer screenings, all of which she said are critical for women’s health. She warned access to such care was becoming increasingly difficult in certain states that have restricted abortion access and rolled back funding, forcing similar clinics to close and leading women to travel out of state for abortions.

“The work that happens here is about providing assistance to women who do not live in the state of Minnesota because sadly, this state exists in a neighborhood where laws have been passed to deny people reproductive health care,” Harris said. 

“In this environment, these attacks against an individual’s right to make decisions about their own body are outrageous and, in many instances, just plain old immoral,” she added. “How dare these elected leaders believe they are in a better position to tell women what they need. To tell women what’s in their best interest. We have to be a nation that trusts women.”

The Minnesota trip was part of Harris’s post-State of the Union travel, during which she highlighted the fight for abortion rights and the White House’s legislative accomplishments. It is also part of her broader “Fight for Reproductive Freedoms” tour, during which she has specifically focused on the issue of abortion, set to play a significant role in November’s election.

Democrats have won major electoral victories since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June 2022, including in the Kentucky gubernatorial race, Virginia legislative races and in ballot measures in Ohio and Kansas to protect abortion.

Minnesota enacted a statute in 2022 protecting the right to reproductive freedom, including abortion, contraception and fertility services. Abortion is protected under the state constitution.

But other states have restricted abortion following the Supreme Court ruling, and the Alabama Supreme Court last month raised questions about in vitro fertilization access after it ruled frozen embryos were people.

President Biden’s campaign has tied the Alabama ruling and other states’ efforts to restrict abortion directly to former President Trump, who is the presumptive GOP nominee for November. Trump has repeatedly bragged that he deserves credit for ending Roe v. Wade because of his appointment of three conservative Supreme Court justices.

Source: The Hill

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