Vice President Kamala Harris rejected an idea by some progressive Democrats to combat the banning of abortions in some red states by placing abortion clinics on federal land and in national parks.
Some progressive Democrats have begun calling on the federal government to place public abortion clinics on federal land so they are not subject to state law.
Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke about the idea in an interview with the Washington Post, suggesting, “[The federal government] could put up tents, have trained personnel — and be there to help people who need it. It’s time to declare a medical emergency.”
Another prominent Democrat, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), also suggested the emergency measure after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade last week. Speaking to a crowd at Union Square in New York after the SCOTUS decision came down, Ocasio-Cortez encouraged the audience to fight to restore abortion rights.
She added, “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,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez told the crowd. “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.”
The idea, however, has been all but rejected by the Biden administration. Appearing on CNN in an interview with Dana Bash, Vice President Kamala Harris was asked about the idea of placing abortion clinics on federal land.
“It’s not right now what we are discussing,” said Harris of the proposal. She continued by adding, “When I think about what is happening in terms of the states, we have to also recognize we’re 130-odd days away from an election, which is going to include Senate races,” Harris said. “We don’t appear to have the votes in the Senate, well, there’s an election happening.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre reiterated the White House’s belief that placing abortion clinics on federal land would not be as easy or as safe as proponents of the idea think.
“We understand the proposal is well intentioned, but here’s the thing: It could actually put women and providers at risk,” said Jean-Pierre. “And importantly, in states where abortion is now illegal, women and providers who are not federal employees — as you look at the federal lands — could be — potentially be prosecuted. And so, this is — as we understand why they would put forward this proposal, there’s actually dangerous ramifications to doing this.”
ARTICLE: LAURA SPIVAK
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: GOVEXEC.COM
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