Vice President Kamala Harris warned in a recent interview that “women will die” if the Supreme Court overturns the fetal viability precedent set in Roe v. Wade.
“I don’t mean to sound alarmist, I mean this: Women will die,” Harris told the San Francisco Chronicle in an interview. “I’m very concerned about it. Women will die. In particular, women who don’t have economic resources and can’t then travel to places or somehow have access to safe reproductive health care, including abortion. And it is not an extreme statement, it is a fact.”
Harris’s comments come as the Supreme Court hears Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in which abortion providers are challenging a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks. Should the state prevail, the precedent set in Roe vs. Wade would likely be overturned, returning the question of abortion to individual state legislative processes.
Harris suggested that if the Supreme Court repeals its 1973 decision in Roe, women will resort to what many abortion advocates have called back alley procedures that pose a risk to both the mother and the fetus.
“We have to see what the court does,” she said.
Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom, who Harris campaigned for ahead of the recall election, has echoed her fears, proposing that the state’s lawmakers prepare to make California a “sanctuary state” for abortion by subsidizing travel and lodging for out-of-state women seeking the procedure. Newsom created the California Future of Abortion Council, a network of over 40 abortion providers and activist groups, which prescribed a plan for the state to accommodate out-of-state abortions with public funds if Roe is overturned.
Harris has shared radical opinions on abortion in the past, promising on the 2020 campaign trail to use executive power to shape the abortion agenda to her will if Congress did not acquiesce. As a senator, she cosponsored a pro-abortion piece of federal legislation, the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would prohibit state restrictions on abortions during the last trimester of pregnancy. The bill would nullify any state law that prohibits “abortion after fetal viability when, in the good-faith medical judgment of the treating physician, continuation of the pregnancy would pose a risk to the pregnant woman’s life or health.”