Vice President brings abortion rights tour to California as Democrats fight for control of the House of Representatives

(Alex Brandon/AP)

Vice President brings abortion rights tour to California as Democrats fight for control of the House of Representatives

California politics, abortion, Kamala Harris

Mackenzie Mays

January 29, 2024

Vice President Kamala Harris brought her abortion rights tour to California on Monday, raising the issue in a left-leaning state as Democrats across the country warned that Republicans could enact a federal ban on the procedure if they vote on Election Day. would take control of Congress. At an event at the Mexican Heritage Plaza in San Jose, Harris applauded the state for having some of the nation’s strongest abortion access protections in the country, but called on California voters to remain “vigilant” and take the issue seriously take in congressional races in November. “Don’t get too comfortable,” said Harris, who has done just that

traveled so far

to Virginia and Wisconsin to fight for reproductive rights ahead of the election. “Let’s understand: None of us can afford to sit back and think, ‘Thank God we’re in California.'” The vice president’s visit to the deeply liberal Bay Area comes as Democrats issue under scrutiny in campaigns to reverse some of the state’s interests. Republican districts to gain control of the House of Representatives. Of

several potential toss-up districts

California is considered crucial to the Democratic Party’s goal.

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has rejected the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to uphold Roe vs. Wade has been credited and applauded, but has not yet endorsed a national abortion ban. Abortion



don’t trust Trump

and the fear that the continued existence of a Republican-majority House could risk losing even more


health care protection, including access to contraception.

On Monday, Harris portrayed abortion access as a personal freedom that is just the tip of the iceberg. He warned that if Republicans gain power, they could also target LGBTQ+ and voting rights. She sought to break deep divisions on the issue based on religious beliefs, focusing on the Red State policy that does not allow exceptions to abortion in cases of rape or incest. “You don’t have to give up your faith or deeply held beliefs to agree that the government shouldn’t tell her what to do with her body,” Harris said to applause, calling for a majority in Congress that would “ simply agrees that it is so’. not the government’s right” to ban reproductive health care. Democratic California



. Alex Padilla

and (D-Calif.), Sen.

Laphonza Butler


and U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra joined Harris on Monday, a show of force that sees Democrats focusing on abortion rights as they try to keep the White House and win control of Congress.

Becerra, who planned to meet with gynecological doctors and medical students at the University of California San Francisco after Monday’s event, said that if Democrats regain control of the House and President Biden is re-elected, abortion rights in the entire country can be restored. “All I know is that we all have to get on board with this,” Becerra said. “There’s nothing we can leave in our pockets.” Monday’s meeting, which was also attended by Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, was repeatedly disrupted by protesters calling for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Before being escorted out of the building, protesters chanted that Harris was “complicit in genocide”; in an attempt to drown them out, her supporters chanted, “Four more years.” in attempts to drown them out.

Harris and

Chairman Joe

Biden, who is running for a second term, has described the future of abortion as a fundamental freedom at stake



California voters approved a measure in 2022 that enshrined reproductive rights in the state constitution; Since then, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation that strengthens the state as a “safe haven” for doctors and patients.

According to California law


Law enforcement agencies are not allowed to assist in out-of-state abortion investigations.

California has also taken steps to expand the number of providers who can perform abortions and opened training to out-of-state doctors living under “hostile” laws.

Abortion rights advocates fear that the continued existence of a Republican-majority House could risk losing more health care protections.


Nearly two dozen states

have limited access to abortion or ban it altogether.

Last week, Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California released a “burn book” targeting a dozen congressional candidates,

including representatives. John Duarte (R-Modesto) and Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford),

for their voting results on abortion legislation.

including Rep. John Duarte (R-Modesto.) and Rep. David Valadao (R-Hanford.).

“The future of abortion will largely be determined over the next 12 months, including in California,” said Sue Dunlap, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles.


he Times in an interview.

Dunlap said she is concerned about voter fatigue on the issue because of California’s longstanding protections for abortion rights.

“We’re not going to get there if we don’t win in California,” Dunlap said. “We don’t live in a country or world where California exists in isolation. We must take these threats seriously.”


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