In response to the Supreme Court's decision to overturn abortion landmark ruling Roe v. Wade last week, Vice President Kamala Harris said that the Biden administration is considering travel vouchers for women seeking out-of-state abortions.
Vice President Harris made the comments during an exclusive interview with CNN's Dana Bash on Monday, speaking out on the reversal of Roe v. Wade for the first time.
"What about the idea of financial resources? Some form of voucher for travel, childcare services, other forms of support for people, for women seeking abortions in states where it's not legal, but they just don't have the means to go elsewhere," Bash asked Harris during the interview.
Harris said that the White House is weighing its options on how to help women "travel without impairment" in light of the Supreme Court's decision that gave abortion rights to the states.
"So, this is something that we are looking at because we know, for example, in terms of how this is going to actually impact real people, over half of the women who receive abortions in America are moms," Harris told Bash.
"That means that if they're going to have to travel, they have to find daycare and pay for it. It means that they will, if they are working, which most are, they're going to have to have time off from work and if they don't have paid leave, they are going to have to figure out how to afford it," the Vice President explained. "It means they may have to put up money for a train or a bus or a plane, much less a hotel, and so we want to make sure that there does not result extreme disparities or any disparities based on who can receive care based on how much money they've got."
Following Friday's Supreme Court decision, the Pentagon and Department of Justice released statements indicating that they will not punish or remove abortion access for their employees, who are federal, that live in states affected by the ruling. Because of the statements, Bash asked Harris if the Biden administration could expand abortion access or abortion services on federal land, specifically land surrounding states that seek to ban abortion.
"It's not right now what we are discussing," Harris told Bash. "But I will say, that when I think about what is happening in terms of the states, we have to also recognize that we are 130 odd days away from an election, which is going to include Senate races. Part of the issue here is that the court has acted, now Congress needs to act...We need to change the balance and have pro-choice legislators who have the power to make decisions about whether this constitutional right will be in law."
Several US states immediately banned abortion on Friday following the Supreme Court's ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade, and other states have "trigger laws" in effect that will outlaw abortion once legislation is passed through their states.
The states that immediately banned abortion include Arkansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah and Alabama, and the states that have "trigger laws" include Idaho, Tennessee, Texas, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Wyoming, according to CNBC.
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