As the looming threat to abortion rights gets closer, Vice President Kamala Harris continues her efforts in the White House to prepare for a post-Roe v. Wade world.
According to Reuters, the Vice President is meeting with constitutional, technology, and privacy law experts today to discuss what comes next if the Supreme Court goes through with overturning Roe.
Harris and the legal experts are expected to discuss the “real-world” implications of the potential court decision, “including in areas such as privacy, contraception, and in vitro fertilization,” according to Reuters.
In May, Politico published a leaked draft opinion from conservative Justice Samuel Alito, which signaled that the court was looking to overturn the landmark abortion case, which created the constitutional right to an abortion.
And because the court generally releases most of its opinions by the end of June, court watchers expect that any day now, the religious right’s war on Roe could come to a terrifying conclusion.
“The rights of all Americans are at risk,” Harris said in a statement shortly after the draft leaked. “This is the time to fight for women and for our country with everything we have.”
Thirteen states currently have trigger laws on the books, which would almost immediately ban abortion if the Supreme Court overturns Roe. And 26 states, in total, are considered certain or likely to ban abortion if Roe is reversed, according to Guttmacher.
Experts predict that roughly 100,000 women in the first year alone will be unable to access abortions due to the restrictions, according to Brookings.
Even before her time in the White House, Vice President Harris has been a strong advocate for abortion access.
During her campaign, she created a plan that would require the Justice Department to approve any laws that would limit abortion access in certain states. And in 2020, then-Senator Harris received a 100 percent voting record from NARAL, a reproductive rights advocacy organization.
Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has faced criticism for failing to lead on abortion access.
Biden didn’t say the word abortion during his term until after the Supreme Court memo leaked in May. And even then, his subsequent decision to frame abortion as the choice to “abort a child” upset advocates, who felt his language was stigmatizing to those who received abortion care.
Still, Biden and Harris worked together to push Congress to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act, which would legally protect the right to an abortion and block states from passing burdensome restrictions on abortion access.
Unsurprisingly Republicans, including nominally “pro-choice” Senators Lisa Murkowski (Alaska-R) and Susan Collins (Maine-R), quickly killed the bill. But not without an assist from everyone’s favorite West Virginian Democrat, Senator Joe Manchin, who also voted no.
Without a congressional path forward, Harris’ leadership on abortion will be put to the test, as she faces off against a conservative majority on the Supreme Court that is unprecedentedly hostile to abortion.