Harris to meet with abortion providers as court ruling looms

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris will speak Thursday with abortion providers from states with some of the nation’s strictest restrictions to thank them for their work, the White House said.

Harris’ virtual meeting with medical professionals practicing in Oklahoma, Kansas, Texas, Missouri and Montana comes weeks after the leaks of a draft Supreme Court opinion suggesting that justices are on the brink of overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. Justices are expected to issue their final ruling in the next six weeks, but those states and others are already laying the groundwork to ban abortion outright if the court allows individual states to set their own rules for the procedure.

“The Vice President will hear stories from abortion providers who are working in states with some of the most extreme abortion restrictions, and she will thank them for fighting to protect reproductive health care, despite personal risk,” the White House said in a statement. She will “emphasize that the Administration will continue to defend women’s constitutional rights and protect access to abortion,” it said.

In fact, the Biden administration has few options available in bitterly divided Washington. A Senate bill to expand abortion access failed due to bipartisan opposition last week.

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