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Kamala Harris to visit a Minnesota clinic that performs abortions on Thursday

VP Harris to visit a Minnesota clinic that performs abortions


VP Harris to visit a Minnesota clinic that performs abortions

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Vice President Kamala Harris will stop at a Minnesota women’s reproductive health clinic that performs abortion services during her visit to the state Thursday, which her office is touting as the first time that either a sitting president or vice president has visited a reproductive health clinic.

Her office declined to identify the facility before Harris arrives there, citing security reasons. The center provides a range of services, including abortion, birth control and preventative wellness care.

Harris was scheduled to tour the facility, speak with staff and be briefed on how Minnesota has been affected by abortion bans in surrounding states. Her office said she’ll talk about what the Biden administration has done to protect reproductive rights. She also was scheduled to speak at a campaign event tailored to women. The visit is part of her nationwide “Fight for Reproductive Freedoms” tour, which is a White House initiative.

Abortion rights have become a major talking point in President Joe Biden campaign’s reelection bid as he and Harris attempt to connect restrictive abortion laws to former President Donald Trump and contrast themselves as candidates with an agenda of restoring abortion protections. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2022 overturned Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion nationwide in 1973.

Abortion access in Minnesota is protected by a 1995 Minnesota Supreme Court decision. The DFL-led legislature last year further bolstered abortion rights by passing a state law guaranteeing a “fundamental right” to the procedure. They credited the backlash against the U.S. Supreme Court decision for their takeover of the state Senate and for keeping their House majority in a year when Republicans expected to make gains.

An update to Minnesota’s equal rights amendment, which would add language to the state constitution if approved by voters, will include provisions aimed at protecting access to abortion when advocates push for it this year.

A number of people have begun crossing state lines to Minnesota to get an abortion, as it is currently illegal in more than a dozen states, including Minnesota neighbors North Dakota and South Dakota, and is restricted in Iowa and Wisconsin.

At a campaign event earlier this year in Wisconsin, Harris took direct aim at Trump for saying he was “proud” of helping to limit abortions. Trump nominated three conservative justices to the U.S. Supreme Court during his term in office prior to the Dobbs decision that overturned Roe v. Wade.

At this point in the 2024 presidential election, both Mr. Biden and Trump have enough delegates to be considered their parties’ presumptive nominees for president, setting up a 2020 contest rematch.

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