Washington —pushed back on Republican claims that Democrats support abortions up until birth, but repeatedly declined to say how far into a pregnancy abortion access should be denied.
In an interview with “Face the Nation” on Thursday in Jakarta, Harris called on Congress to enshrine abortion rights into law after the, which established the constitutional right to abortion. Since then, a number of states have rolled back abortion rights.
“Congress has the ability to put back in place the rights that the Supreme Court took from the women of America,” she said.
But Democrats need 60 votes in the Senate to avoid a filibuster as well as a majority in the House, making it unlikely that legislation to codify Roe into law will pass anytime soon. The, which was endorsed by the president and vice president, to codify Roe when it was put up for a vote.
When “Face the Nation” moderator Margaret Brennan asked Harris what week of pregnancy abortion access should be cut off, the vice president repeatedly said “the protections of Roe v. Wade” need to be put back in place, but did not directly answer the question. Roe v. Wade guaranteed abortion access up to the point of “viability,” which can fall anytime between 20 and 24 weeks given scientific advancements.
“We’re not trying to do anything that did not exist before June of last year,” Harris said.
“It wasn’t crafted into law. And that’s why I’m asking you for the specifics there — because Republicans say the lack of a precise date in cutting it off — you know this — they say that allows Democrats to perform abortions up until birth,” Brennan said, noting that the claim is not statistically accurate. In 2020, less than 1% of abortions were performed after 21 weeks and a majority were performed before 13 weeks, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Harris called the claim “ridiculous” and a “mischaracterization of the point,” but declined to be more specific. Some progressive Democrats oppose any legal definition defining a permitted window for abortion access, stipulating that the decision should solely be between a woman and her doctor.
“I believe that we should put the protections of Roe v. Wade into law, and the way that will happen is if we have a United States Congress, who regardless of their personal view for themselves or their family, would agree that the women of America should be trusted to make decisions about their life and their body based on what they know to be in their best interest. It’s that simple,” Harris said.
In June, President Biden, saying he’s not “big on abortion” but the landmark 1973 decision governing abortion limits “got it right.”
“Roe v. Wade cut in a place where the vast majority of religions have reached agreement,” Mr. Biden said at a fundraiser for his reelection campaign.
The president said during “the first three months or thereabouts, in all major religions” the decision to obtain an abortion is between a woman and her family.
“Next three months is between a woman and her doctor. The last three months have to be negotiated, because you can’t — unless you are in a position where your physical health is at stake — you can’t do it,” he said.