Abortion is on the ballot in 2024, the White House says, with Vice President Kamala on Monday launching a cross-country tour to equate the campaign of President Joe Biden with protection and expansion of reproductive rights – as Republican candidates speak of possible federal abortion bans.
On Monday — the 51st anniversary of the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court ruling that federally protected the right to have an abortion — Harris visited the battleground state of Wisconsin to highlight the Biden administration’s support of full access to reproductive health care, including abortion.
“In America, freedom is not to be given,” Harris said. “It is not to be bestowed. It is ours by right. By right. And that includes the freedom to make decisions about one’s own body. Not the government telling you what to do.”
Biden, a devoted lifelong Catholic, has expressed personal reservations about abortion. On Monday, however, he described the Supreme Court’s 2022 decision to overturn Roe v. Wade — and throw the matter to individual states — as unfair.
Since that court ruling, he noted, voters in different states have repeatedly voted to uphold abortion access.
“Voters have voted to protect reproductive rights,” Biden said. “We need these protections in every state, because for your family to have access to health care should not depend on your ZIP code.”
Followers of the current Republican presidential front-runner, Donald Trump, say Trump opposes abortion rights, but his position has varied and is unclear. His campaign website does not address the issue.
A request for comment from Trump’s campaign was not immediately returned.
U.S. House Speaker Mike Johnson, a Republican from the Southern state of Louisiana, gave his opposition a personal spin at a recent anti-abortion rally in Washington, where he said he was the product of an unplanned teen pregnancy.
"We're passing these bills and we're marching today because it takes a lot of work to convince people that every single human child, every unborn child, has a value that is too profound and precious to ignore,” Johnson said. “And we have every reason to be optimistic, my friends, that we can change public opinion."
Anti-abortion-rights activists say they’re glad the Supreme Court put the decision back in states’ hands. But now, they must decide which national leader is going to move the issue forward.
Activist Eric Scheidler, who joined the Washington march, said that Biden was “too extreme” in his support of abortion access but that none of the remaining Republicans fit his worldview.
“I also don't know if I trust Donald Trump,” said Scheidler, who is executive director of the Illinois-based Pro-Life Action League. “I mean, he gave us the Supreme Court justices that overturned Roe. Since the overturning of Roe, he has said some things critical of the pro-life movement and criticized [Governor Ron] DeSantis’ policy in Florida. I don't really know where Trump stands, because he seems to be talking out of both sides of his mouth on the issue. So I am reserving judgment on both Haley and Trump, because I've been concerned about where both of them stand.”
Abortion rights have won at the polls with voters in states from liberal California to conservative Kansas.
The key swing state of Ohio was the latest, with a decisive 57% approving a constitutional amendment to ensure access to reproductive rights late last year.