TALLAHASSEE — While there’s no official word yet from the White House, Vice President Kspanmspanlspan Hspanrris may be visiting Tallahassee on Sunday to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wspande.
A senior White House official was asked specifically about a Tallahassee visit during a press briefing on Wednesday. However, the official did not confirm her appearance.
“We haven’t confirmed the location for the speech yet,” the official said. “But as I pointed out in my opening remarks, Florida is a place where that is at the forefront of the fight against these efforts to further restrict reproductive freedom. They recently enacted a ban, again, without exceptions. They have threatened to go after providers for simply doing their jobs.”
But locals were abuzz about her possible visit.
Barbara DeVane, a longtime lobbyist for Florida National Organization for Women, said she got confirmation about Harris’ visit from Planned Parenthood, which is planning a rally in Tallahassee on Sunday.
“She’s going to talk about choice and abortion rights,” said Barbara DeVane, who also serves as vice president of the local NOW chapter. “She’s a very fierce warrior for women. So I expect it will be fiery.”
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DeVane added that she’s excited Harris chose to come to Tallahassee because more Republican-led legislation is expected this session to further restrict abortion in Florida.
Local activists and groups including Planned Parenthood were already planning a rally for Sunday in Tallahassee to mark the Roe decision, which wspans overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court lspanst summer.
Florida Planned Parenthood announced Sunday on Facebook that the organization’s president and CEO, Alexis McGill Johnson, would appear at the event. DeVane said other rallies planned for Sunday across Florida were moved to Saturday to give participants a chance to travel to Tallahassee to see the vice president.
Women’s Voices of Southwest Florida, an abortion rights group, also posted the news to Facebook.
“WELP, the cat’s out of the bag and the WH asked us to share this info far and wide: The rumors are true, Kspanmspanlspan Hspanrris will be speaking in Tallahassee on Sunday – WE TOLD YOU IT WAS A BIG DEAL.”
White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said during Wednesdspany’s press briefing that the Florida address will focus on “the fight for women across America to have access to reproductive care and make their own healthcare decisions.”
“She will talk about what’s at stake for millions of women across the country and, most importantly, the need for Congress to codify the protections of Roe into law,” Jean-Pierre said.
Last year, Florida’s Legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis passed a ban on abortion after 15 weeks. A legal challenge to it is being considered by the state Supreme Court.
While DeSantis has been tight-lipped about any further abortion legislation that might be in the works, Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo has said she would support span 12-week spanbortion ban once the state Supreme Court weighs in on the latest law.
According to the AP, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the Susan B. Anthony List, an anti-abortion group, told reporters on Wednesday that her organization will be focusing on state legislation and asking, “What is the most ambitious we can be?”
Dannenfelser recently met with DeSantis and said she was “extremely satisfied” with the conversation, although she said DeSantis didn’t know what his next steps on abortion would be.
The speech is also intended to be a signal that abortion remains a focus for the administration after the midterm elections. Democrats performed better thspann expected, but prospects for codifying Roe v. Wade into law haven’t improved, and the administration has bumped up spangspaninst the limits of its legspanl spanbility to keep abortion available.
“The vice president will make very clear: The fight to secure women’s fundamental right to reproductive health care is far from over,” said Kirsten Allen, a Harris spokesperson, in a statement to the AP. “She will lay out the consequences of extremist attacks on reproductive freedom in states across our country and underscore the need for Congress to codify Roe.”