On June 14 and 15, 2023, the White House convened more than 80 state legislators from 41 states who are on the frontlines of the fight for reproductive rights. Vice President Harris joined the convening to address the legislators, building off of her meetings with more than 250 state legislators from 28 states over the past year to discuss their efforts to protect access to abortion.
Nearly a year following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, extreme and dangerous abortion bans are in effect in 18 states, affecting more than 23 million women of reproductive age—one in three. These bans, many of which do not allow exceptions for rape or incest, threaten physicians with criminal penalties and interfere with the patient-provider relationship. As a result of these bans, women are being denied medical care essential to preserve their health and even save their lives. They’ve been turned away from emergency rooms and forced to travel hundreds of miles for necessary care.
State legislators across the country are taking action to protect access to reproductive health care. On Wednesday, June 14, legislators from states where Republican elected officials have moved to roll back reproductive rights attended the White House convening to discuss strategies to oppose these efforts and the policy agenda ahead. On Thursday, June 15, legislators from states where access to abortion remains protected discussed their efforts to further safeguard and support access to reproductive health care.
During the convening, senior White House officials highlighted the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to defending reproductive rights, key actions the Administration has taken to protect access to reproductive health care including Executive Orders issued by the President and the work of the Interagency Task Force on Reproductive Healthcare Access, and the importance of state partners in this fight.
Senior White House attendees included:
- Vice President Kamala Harris
- Jennifer Klein, Assistant to the President & Director of the Gender Policy Council
- Neera Tanden, Assistant to the President & Director of the Domestic Policy Council
- Karine Jean-Pierre, Assistant to the President & White House Press Secretary
- Mayor Steve Benjamin, Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor to the President & Director of the Office of Public Engagement