Remarks by Vice President Harris on Access to Reproductive Healthcare
Vice President’s Ceremonial Office
Eisenhower Executive Office Building
10:56 A.M. EST
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, good morning. I thank you, phenomenal national leaders on fundamental rights of freedom and liberty, for being here again for us to have a very important discussion about how we will continue to fight for the rights of the American people to make decisions about their own bodies free from government interference and free from partisan, political, obstructionist attacks.
So, we are here today because, of course, as we have discussed and worked together many times since, the Dobbs decision by the United States Supreme Court is a case that — and wherein the United States Supreme Court, the highest court in our land, took a constitutional right from the people of America, from the women of America — a right that had been recognized.
And as we predicted and feared, every day since, we have seen strategic attempts and attacks through so-called leaders, in particular in the states — extremist so-called leaders who are attempting to, and in some — in many cases, have passed laws that will further restrict the ability of people to make the most fundamental decisions they should have the power and ability to make about their lives and the future of their families.
And we convene today because post the Dobbs decision, we are now in a situation where there is an attempt to further attack fundamental rights to healthcare, in that there is an attack that has been placed against the ability of — of doctors to prescribe and for people to receive medication to allow them to make decisions about their reproductive health.
That medication is called mifepristone. It is a drug that is used to perform medication abortion. It is FDA approved and was approved 20 years ago, after a strenuous peer-reviewed process of determining that it is safe and appropriate for its intended use.
But there are now partisan and political attacks attempting to question the legitimacy of a group of scientists and doctors who have studied the significance of this drug. There is now an attempt by politicians to remove it from the ability of doctors to prescribe and the ability of people to receive.
And so we are here today to talk about what we will do to highlight this issue to make sure the people of America are aware of what is happening, and so we can make sure that the people of America are protected in terms of us fighting for their rights to have access to the medication that they need.
Twenty-two state attorneys general wrote to the FDA and threatened to enforce state laws that might prevent millions of women from accessing medication that is prescribed by their doctor and the medication their doctor determined is important to their health and wellbeing.
Again, this is not just an attack on women’s fundamental freedoms; it is an attack on the very foundation of our public health system.
And I might note that most Americans could look in their medicine cabinet, where they will find medication prescribed by a doctor that they use on a daily basis and have available to them because the FDA engaged in a process of determining the efficacy and safety of that medication. Mifepristone is no exception to that process.
And so those who would attack this process and the ability of the FDA to make these decisions ought to look in their own medicine cabinets to figure out where they’re prepared to say that those medications that they need to alleviate suffering and to prolong the quality of life should no longer be available to them. Because that is what we are talking about.
And so we will, together, do the work that we need to do. The President has been very clear that we are committed to protecting every woman’s right to make decisions about her own body and her own future, and that all people in our country should have that freedom and liberty.
So, with that, I thank you all for being here. I look forward to our discussion and — and to our continuing work on this and so many other fundamental issues.
And with that, I will thank the press and bid you a good day.
END 11:01 A.M. EST
Official news published at https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/speeches-remarks/2023/02/24/remarks-by-vice-president-harris-on-access-to-reproductive-healthcare/