Yesterday, in Chicago, Illinois, Vice President Kamala Harris convened a roundtable with health care providers, students, elected officials, and reproductive health advocates to discuss reproductive health care and abortion access in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in Dobbs. The Vice President’s visit followed a week of extreme actions by Congressional Republicans to further restrict women’s reproductive freedom, including proposing a national abortion ban and attempting to obstruct women’s access to medication. On the state level, abortion bans went into effect in West Virginia and Indiana.
During the roundtable, the Vice President thanked the participants for their work protecting reproductive rights in Illinois. She also applauded them for their work providing care to women from across the country who are being denied reproductive health care they need in their own states. Participants expressed concerns about the dangers of misinformation, and they shared stories about how Dobbs is harming the health and safety of women. The health care providers discussed the impact of Dobbs on the health care work force – making it difficult to train the next generation of health care professionals and growing concern for the mental health and well-being of reproductive health care providers. The participants thanked the Vice President for the actions the Biden-Harris Administration has taken to protect reproductive health care and abortion access.
The Vice President has brought together leaders from across the nation who are on the frontlines fighting to protect a woman’s right to make her own reproductive health decisions. Since May, the Vice President has held more than 20 convenings about the fight to protect reproductive rights. The Vice President has met with 150+ state legislators from 18 states, and has also convened health care providers, constitutional law experts, faith leaders, state attorneys general, disability rights leaders, higher education leaders, advocates, and civil rights and reproductive rights leaders.
- Governor J.B. Pritzker, Governor of Illinois
- Mayor Lightfoot (D-Chicago)
- Congressman Danny Davis (D-IL-07)
- Melanie Fontes, Director of the Office for Civil Rights, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- Megan Jeyifo, Executive Director, Chicago Abortion Fund
- Allison Cowett, Medical Director, Family Planning Associates
- Myra Bajwa, Student Organizer, Project Reproductive Freedom
- Diana Parker Kafka, Executive Director, Midwest Access Coalition
- Jennifer Welch, President & CEO, Planned Parenthood of Illinois and Planned Parenthood Illinois Action