Kamala Harris: No Plans To Open Abortion Clinics On Federal Lands

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Vice President Kamala Harris mentioned Monday that the White House isn’t at the moment exploring the potential for opening abortion clinics on federal lands in states which have banned the process ― an concept that progressives started pitching after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade final week.

“It’s not right now what we are discussing,” Harris advised CNN’s Dana Bash, who requested her if this was one thing she and President Joe Biden have been learning as an choice.

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have been urging the White House in latest days to contemplate the probabilities provided by federal lands in pink states, the place hundreds of thousands of individuals have misplaced entry to close by abortion care.

“I think one of the things that we know, too, is that there are also actions at President Biden’s disposal that he can mobilize. I’ll start with the babiest of the babiest of the baby steps: Open abortion clinics on federal lands in red states right now. Right now,” Ocasio-Cortez mentioned at a protest Friday in New York City.

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Warren made related remarks at a rally in Boston that day, saying the White House and Congress ought to “explore just how much we can start using federal lands as a way to protect people who need access to abortions in all the states that either have banned abortions or are clearly on the threshold of doing so.”

The federal authorities owns greater than 1 / 4 of the land within the U.S., with most of it concentrated within the West. In Utah, one of many first states to enact its abortion “trigger ban,” greater than 60% of the land is federally owned. Wyoming, Idaho and Arizona ― three different states hostile to abortion rights ― even have excessive proportions of federally owned land.

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But Harris mentioned the Biden administration is concentrated on making certain folks can nonetheless entry abortion within the locations the place clinics stay open, saying that what’s “most important right now” is “that we do everything we can to empower women to not only seek but to receive the care where it is available.”

People who want abortions in states the place it has been or will quickly be outlawed can entry the process provided that they’ll afford the prices of touring out of state, which incorporates the prices of transportation, lodging, missed wages and youngster care.

Bash requested Harris if the Biden administration is ready to supply “financial resources, some form of voucher for travel, child care services” for individuals who want that help. Harris acknowledged the necessity however didn’t make any agency commitments.

“We want to make sure that there [will not be] extreme disparities … based on who can receive care based on how much money they have got,” she mentioned.

The vice chairman additionally reaffirmed that the Biden administration is against any states making an attempt to punish folks for serving to a affected person travel to a different state for an abortion, and he or she added that the Justice Department will problem these legal guidelines in courtroom.

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