Kamala Harris visits Planned Parenthood clinic

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Vice President Kamala Harris toured a Planned Parenthood session successful Minnesota connected Thursday, becoming what is believed to beryllium nan first president aliases vice president ever to sojourn a session that provides abortion services successful U.S. history.

Sources acquainted pinch Harris’s visit to nan St. Paul clinic told NBC News that nan vice president wanted to make judge she was gathering pinch group straight impacted by abortion policies and to link pinch them successful their spaces. The sources besides said nan sojourn is portion of a broader strategy by Harris to beryllium walking and connected nan crushed pinch Americans arsenic overmuch arsenic possible.

Harris, who has go a salient sound successful nan Biden management connected nan rumor of abortion, said Thursday she made nan travel to item nan activity happening successful specified clinics and to hammer location nan constituent that women request much entree to reproductive healthcare successful nan aftermath of nan Supreme Court overruling Roe v. Wade.

“In this environment, these attacks against an individual’s correct to make decisions astir their ain assemblage are outrageous, and successful galore instances conscionable plain aged immoral,” Harris said while opinionated successful nan lobby of nan clinic. “How situation these elected leaders judge they are successful a amended position to show women what they need, to show women what is successful their champion interest. We person to beryllium a federation that trusts women.”

Harris said while wrong nan clinic, she met pinch astir 2 twelve wellness attraction workers and praised them for “providing wellness attraction successful a safe spot that gives group dignity.” She besides said she wanted to travel to St. Paul specifically because successful nan aftermath of Roe v. Wade being overruled, Minnesota workers person been providing attraction to an influx of out-of-state patients arsenic states astir it person restricted entree to abortion. 

“I’m present astatine this wellness attraction session to uplift nan activity that is happening successful Minnesota arsenic an illustration of what existent activity looks like,” she said.

“It is only correct and adjacent that group person entree to nan wellness attraction they request and that they person entree to wellness attraction successful an situation wherever they are treated pinch dignity and respect. And please do understand that erstwhile we talk astir a session specified arsenic this, it is perfectly astir wellness attraction and reproductive wellness care,” she added.

In 2013, then-President Barack Obama became nan first sitting president to reside Planned Parenthood, nan group said backmost then. But Obama delivered his remarks astatine a Planned Parenthood convention astatine a edifice successful Washington, D.C., and not astatine 1 of its clinics. 

Minnesota was nan sixth extremity successful Harris’s “Fight for Reproductive Freedoms” tour, which she kicked disconnected successful January to push for much abortion entree successful nan aftermath of nan overruling of Roe v. Wade. Since nan Supreme Court ruling, Harris has held scores of meetings pinch hundreds of lawmakers from much than 40 states, according to her office.

On Thursday, Harris stressed that efforts to restrict abortion entree person endangered women’s lives and denied them much-needed attraction to not only abortion services, but besides different attraction provided by Planned Parenthood, including bosom exams and pap smears. 

“Right now successful our country, we are facing a very superior wellness crisis,” Harris said. “And nan situation is affecting many, galore group successful our country, astir of whom are frankly silently suffering."

The vice president based on that since Roe v. Wade was overruled, "extremists person projected and passed laws that person denied women entree to reproductive wellness care.” 

Sarah Traxler, nan main aesculapian serviceman for Planned Parenthood North Central States, besides said aft Harris’s circuit of nan clinic.

“I’m honored that Vice President Kamala Harris has visited our session today,” she said. “It’s a historical moment, and 1 that demonstrates really critically important entree to reproductive wellness attraction is to group and their families crossed nan country.”

Traxler said since nan Supreme Court’s decision, Planned Parenthood successful Minnesota has seen a 25% summation successful abortions and a astir 100% summation successful out-of-state patients seeking their services. 

“This is not by accident. Surrounding states person been limiting and banning abortion, while Minnesota, pinch nan thief of our governor, has been expanding entree since Roe was overturned,” Traxler said.

“I’ve cared for patients from everyplace from adjacent states for illustration South Dakota and North Dakota and Wisconsin, but from faraway states for illustration Texas, Alabama, Wyoming, Florida, Oklahoma, Missouri, and nan database goes on,” she added.

Harris vowed that Democrats, if fixed power of Congress and nan White House, would codify national abortion authorities into law.

“Elections matter,” nan vice president said. 

The rumor of abortion has go a apical privilege for Democrats heading into nan November statesmanlike election. President Joe Biden highlighted nan rumor prominently successful his State of nan Union reside and has promised to push for much entree to abortions. A number of polls person besides shown that protecting abortion authorities is simply a cardinal interest for galore voters.

Yamiche Alcindor

Yamiche Alcindor is an NBC News Washington correspondent.