Vice President Harris announces nationwide events focused on abortion

Dec 19, 2023, 3:01 AM

CORRECTS EMHOFF TO SECOND GENTLEMEN INSTEAD OF FIRST - Vice President Kamala Harris, left, and seco...

CORRECTS EMHOFF TO SECOND GENTLEMEN INSTEAD OF FIRST - Vice President Kamala Harris, left, and second gentleman Doug Emhoff pay their respects as the flag-draped casket of retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor lies in the Great Hall at the Supreme Court in Washington, Monday, Dec. 18, 2023. O'Connor, an Arizona native and the first woman to serve on the nation's highest court, died Dec. 1 at age 93. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Vice President Kamala Harris is redoubling her focus on abortion rights as the election year begins, planning a nationwide series of events as Democrats try to rally voters to give President Joe Biden a second term and regain full control of Congress.

Her first event is scheduled for Wisconsin on Jan. 22, which would have been the 51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that legalized abortion nationwide. The court overturned the decision in 2022 in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

“I will continue to fight for our fundamental freedoms while bringing together those throughout America who agree that every woman should have the right to make decisions about her own body — not the government,” Harris said in a statement.

Wisconsin is a critical battleground state where access to abortion has seesawed since the Supreme Court decision.

Other dates and locations for Harris’ tour have not yet been announced.

The loss of Roe v. Wade was a historic setback for Democrats, and there’s no clear path to restoring nationwide abortion rights as Republican-led states enact new restrictions.

However, Democrats successfully harnessed anger over the decision to stem their losses in the 2022 midterms — Republicans narrowly took control of the House rather than winning wipeout victories that had been forecast — and they plan to make the issue a rallying cry in 2024 as well.

Vice presidents are rarely decisive in election campaigns, but Harris is poised to play an important role next year.

Part of that reason is Biden’s age; he would be 86 at the end of his second term.

She’s also led the charge for the White House on abortion, holding more than 50 events in at least 16 states with lawmakers, attorneys general, activists and healthcare providers.

The issue was a focus for her recent college tour as well, when she visited campuses to speak to students.

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Vice President Harris announces nationwide events focused on abortion