Vice President Kamala Harris addressed Republican claims regarding Democrats’ support for late-term abortions in a recent interview on “Face the Nation.” Harris emphasized the need for Congress to protect abortion rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which granted the constitutional right to abortion.
As numerous states have scaled back abortion rights, the debate surrounding this issue has intensified. Harris urged Congress to reinstate the rights previously safeguarded by Roe v. Wade, acknowledging the challenges posed by the current Senate filibuster rules and the need for a House majority. The Women’s Health Protection Act, supported by both the president and vice president, faced Senate rejection last year.
When questioned by “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan about when abortion access should be restricted during pregnancy, Harris refrained from specifying a precise week and instead stressed the importance of restoring the protections afforded by Roe v. Wade. This landmark decision established abortion access up to the point of “viability,” which typically occurs between 20 and 24 weeks, depending on medical advancements.
Republicans have criticized Democrats for not defining a specific cutoff date for abortion access, claiming it permits abortions up until birth, a notion Harris firmly rejected as “ridiculous” and a “mischaracterization.” Notably, less than 1% of abortions in 2020 occurred after 21 weeks, with the majority taking place before 13 weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Harris advocated for enshrining the principles of Roe v. Wade into law, emphasizing that the decision should ultimately rest with the woman and her doctor. President Biden, in June, provided insight into his position on abortion, expressing support for the Roe v. Wade framework. He suggested that within the first three months, the decision is a matter for the woman and her family, within the next three months, it is between the woman and her doctor, and in the last three months, exceptions would be considered only in cases where the woman’s physical health is at risk. Biden also noted that this approach aligns with the majority of religious views on the matter.
The debate over abortion rights continues to be a contentious issue on both sides of the political spectrum, with Democrats advocating for the preservation of Roe v. Wade and Republicans pushing for more restrictive measures. The future of abortion access in the United States remains uncertain as these opposing viewpoints clash in the legislative arena.