Kamala Harris makes celebratory visit to Minnesota abortion clinic

Harris used her Thursday tour to claim there is a "health crisis" in the post-Roe v. Wade United States.

Vice President Kamala Harris was accompanied by Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz on her visit. (Office of Gov. Tim Walz)

(The Daily Signal) — Vice President Kamala Harris spent Thursday afternoon visiting a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Minnesota.

The visit, which makes her the first vice president to do so, is intended to demonstrate President Joe Biden’s administration’s dedication to promoting abortion in the post-Roe v. Wade era.

The visit is a historic first. While a celebratory visit to an abortion clinic once would have been considered horrifying, tactless, and gruesome, Harris used her Thursday tour to claim there is a “health crisis” in the post-Roe v. Wade United States — since it’s now harder in a number of states for women to abort their unborn babies.

As The New York Times put it: “The mere sight of a top Democratic official walking into an abortion clinic offered the clearest illustration yet of how the politics of abortion rights have shifted for the party — and the nation.”

“I’m here at this health care clinic to uplift the work that is happening in Minnesota as an example of what true leadership looks like,” Harris told reporters on Thursday. “It is only right and fair that people have access to the health care they need, and that they have access to health care in an environment where they are treated with dignity and respect … [I]t is absolutely about health care and reproductive health care.”

Harris also sharply criticized efforts to protect the unborn across the nation, saying: “In this environment, these attacks against an individual’s right to make decisions about their own body are outrageous and, in many instances, just plain old immoral. How dare these elected leaders believe they are in a better position to tell women what they need, to tell women what is in their best interest.”

Her visit follows Biden’s heated rhetoric on “reproductive rights,” birth control, and in-vitro fertilization in his March 7 State of the Union address, in which he accused Republicans of trying to restrict a woman’s “freedom to choose.”

And the visit demonstrates an effort to “generate enthusiasm for the Democratic ticket among black, Hispanic, and young voters,” Axios reported. According to a poll released Thursday from the health policy research firm KFF, more than a quarter of black female voters said that abortion is their top issue in the 2024 presidential election.

Planned Parenthood has previously come under fire for its founder, Margaret Sanger, who frequently made pro-eugenics comments and targeted black communities with birth control through her “Negro Project.” Critics accuse Planned Parenthood of targeting minority neighborhoods, and specifically black women, by disproportionately placing surgical abortion clinics in minority neighborhoods.

In 2020, then-Vice President Mike Pence became the first sitting vice president to visit a pro-life pregnancy resource center. Those pregnancy centers exist to provide options to women who might otherwise abort their unborn babies, offering mothers resources, food, and baby necessities.

At the time, Pence joined members of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List to visit the Florida-based “A Woman’s Place Medical Clinic” as he kicked off a multistate “Life Wins” tour. After the tour, he celebrated the Trump-Pence administration as the “most pro-life administration in history.”

“You know, the pro-life movement doesn’t just talk the talk. You walk the walk,” Pence said at the time.

“I saw a wonderful clinic, heard about all the volunteers that stepped forward, along with registered nurses and health care professionals,” he added. “The place is, literally, every day bustling with people ready to not just stand for life, but stand with women facing the most difficult circumstances in their lives.”


Mary Margaret Olohan
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Mary Margaret Olohan is a reporter for The Daily Signal.