Our friends at Florida’s Voice gave us a weekend heads-up that Vice President Kamala Harris’s planned rally to expand abortion in Florida was moved to a private venue after being rejected by the Capitol and Florida State University.
Harris will “deliver a major address” and speak about “what’s at stake for millions of women across the country and, most importantly, the need for Congress to codify the protections of Roe into law,” White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday.
Organizers of the event, Ruth’s List Florida and Planned Parenthood of Florida, planned to bus-in supporters from around the state as the battle over abortion access shifts to the states after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
The owner of The Moon, Scott Carswell confirmed that VP Harris would speak at their venue.
“Harris will travel to Florida to deliver a major address on the fight for women across America to have access to reproductive care and make their own healthcare decisions,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said. “Fifty years after the Supreme Court’s 1973 decision in Roe v. Wade, ultra-MAGA Republican officials continue to push at all levels of government for extreme legislation, rolling back women’s fundamental rights, including a national abortion ban.”
Florida’s Voice reported that Harris landed in Tallahassee Saturday night only to learn that Florida’s State Capitol and Florida State University were unavailable.
Harris planned to hold a pro-abortion march on the anniversary of Roe v. Wade (1973) in Florida’s capital. The state, led by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and a GOP state legislature, restricts abortion past 15 weeks and has indicated strong potential for widening those regulations.
Harris’s Florida rally was intended to be a cornerstone of the Democrats’ planned counterprograming to the March for Life. Karine Jean-Pierre, the White House press secretary, said Wednesday that “the administration has taken actions with our limited authorities," reiterating the president's call for national legislation.
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra planned to visit Minnesota this week as that state's legislature works on a new law to solidify abortion rights.
Becerra expects to appear with Democratic Gov. Tim Walz, stop at a Planned Parenthood facility and meet with organizers who want to use a mobile van to provide abortions to people who cross into the state from Wisconsin, which has strict abortion limits.
Becerra then plans to visit a Wisconsin clinic that's no longer allowed to provide abortions and hold an event with Sen. Tammy Baldwin and Rep. Gwen Moore, both Democrats, to talk with medical students.
On Wednesday, Becerra recalled visiting a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis, Missouri, on the day that Roe v. Wade was overturned.
Last year, Florida’s Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis passed a ban on abortion after 15 weeks. A legal challenge to it is being considered by the state Supreme Court.
While DeSantis has been tight-lipped about any further abortion legislation that might be in the works, Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo has said she would support a 12-week abortion ban once the state Supreme Court weighs in on the latest law.
WUSF reported Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, a pro-life group, told reporters on Wednesday that her organization will be focusing on state legislation and asking, “What is the most ambitious we can be?”
Dannenfelser recently met with DeSantis and said she was “extremely satisfied” with the conversation, although she said DeSantis didn't know what his next steps on abortion would be. Florida currently bans abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
"First Lady Casey DeSantis and I stand with the thousands gathered today in DC as they March for Life," DeSantis tweeted Thursday afternoon. "Thank you for being a voice for the voiceless!"
Roe v. Wade
March for Life
Kamala Harris Florida abortion rally
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Planned Parenthood of Florida
state limits on abortion
Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra
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pro-life grassroots organizing