Vice President Kamala Harris spoke in Tallahassee, Florida — a state whose leaders are discussing changing the timeline for abortions to 12 weeks of pregnancy from 15 and impeding the distribution of abortion pills — on Sunday to mark the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade. The landmark 1973 decision had enshrined abortion protections in federal law for nearly five decades before it was overturned in June 2022.
During her speech at nightlife venue The Moon, she chastised “so-called leaders” in Florida for what she referred to as an extreme ban on abortions and rules that punish both healthcare providers as well as pharmacists who dispense the abortion pill, as The New York Times reports.
“Today, we are fighting back,” Harris said. She discussed President Biden’s memorandum signed on Sunday, which seeks to “further efforts to protect access to Reproductive Healthcare Services” by protecting access to mifepristone, a drug used in medication abortion. The memorandum directs several government agencies to assess how it could better support those who provide it.
“Let us not be tired or discouraged,” she said. “Because we are on the right side of history.”
Prior to Harris’ appearance on Sunday, Planned Parenthood Chief Executive Alexis McGill Johnson and other activists gathered that morning to rally against Florida governor Ron DeSantis — a likely 2024 Republican presidential contender — who signed into law the ban of abortions in the state at 15 weeks without exceptions for rape and incest.
During her address at the rally, McGill Johnson called the vice president one of the “fiercest fighters for reproductive freedom.”