Vice President Harris on Tuesday backed a lawsuit filed by five women in Texas over state laws that restrict abortion, reiterating that women should be in charge of their own reproductive health care.
The five women, who are being represented by the Center for Reproductive Rights, say Texas laws meant they were denied abortions even when facing harmful and life-threatening complications.
“Many extremist ‘so-called’ leaders espouse ‘freedom for all,’ while directly attacking the freedom to make one’s own health care decisions,” Harris said in a statement. “Like the overwhelming majority of Americans, the President and I believe women — in consultation with their doctors — should be in charge of their reproductive health care, not politicians.”
The lawsuit asks the court to affirm that doctors can offer abortions if they deem it medically necessary because continuing the pregnancy would pose a danger to the woman or because “the pregnancy is unlikely to result in the birth of a living child with sustained life,” The New York Times first reported.
Harris said in her statement that she has met one of the plaintiffs, Amanda Zurawski.
“After Amanda’s water broke prematurely, she was repeatedly denied treatment because of Texas’s abortion ban. Only after she developed sepsis, an infection that almost killed her, did the hospital finally treat her,” Harris said.
The vice president also noted she had convened health care providers at the White House in September 2021, after Texas passed S.B. 8, which implemented a ban on abortions after about six weeks.
“[W]e discussed the harm that doctors and nurses feared their patients would experience as a result of Texas’ extreme laws. Now, multiple women impacted by these abortion bans announced a joint lawsuit against the state of Texas, showing those fears have turned into reality,” she said.
In the wake of the Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Harris has been a leading voice out of the White House on the issue, traveling the country to talk to local leaders and advocates.