Vice President Kamala Harris slammed Oklahoma’s anti-abortion bill that passed lower than an hour before she met with abortion providers on Thursday.
The vp gave opening remarks before a virtual discussion with providers and reproductive rights advocates, through which she brought up the Texas-style abortion ban that was just given final approval by the Oklahoma state legislature. The bill would prohibit all abortions from the moment of fertilization and would deputize private residents in suing providers.
“Now, take into consideration that for a second: from the moment of fertilization,” Harris said. “It’s outrageous, and it’s just the newest in a series of utmost laws across the country. Several of the medical professionals joining us today are seeing the impact of those laws which are designed to punish and control women.”
Harris then heard stories from the abortion providers she met with, all of whom are working in states with extremely restrictive anti-abortion laws despite personal risk. The providers included an OB/GYN practicing in California, Oklahoma and Kansas, an OB/GYN practicing in Texas, a chief medical officer in Missouri and a nurse in Montana.
Vice President Kamala Harris condemns the Oklahoma legislature passing a bill that bans just about all abortions from the moment of fertilization:
“It’s outrageous, and it’s just the newest in a series of utmost laws across the country.” pic.twitter.com/n0dTJ0BZ2e
— The Recount (@therecount) May 19, 2022
The Oklahoma bill that overwhelmingly passed on Thursday is considered one of not less than three anti-abortion bills sent this 12 months to Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has indicated he’ll sign the newest one. Earlier this month, Stitt signed one other Texas-style abortion bill that prohibits abortions after cardiac activity is detected within the embryo ― at about six weeks. A 3rd bill expected to take effect this summer would make it a felony to perform an abortion, punishable by as much as 10 years in prison, with no exceptions for rape or incest.
“At its core, that is about our future as a nation, about whether we live in a rustic where the federal government can interfere in personal decisions. That is about our future,” Harris said. “Yet at the identical time, we cannot deny that this decision may have real and immediate effects on women around our country.”
The large increase in state-level draconian abortion bans comes because the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade in June, after a leaked draft opinion showed the conservative majority ruling to roll back the landmark decision granting abortion rights on the federal level.
The White House has repeatedly said that it would fight for abortion rights, nonetheless the administration doesn’t have many options to combat a Supreme Court decision and resulting state laws. Congress recently didn’t advance the Women’s Health Protection Act, which might have effectively codified Roe v. Wade, putting Americans all around the country liable to having their reproductive rights taken away.