Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) wasted no time in responding to Vice President Kamala Harris after she issued a statement to commemorate the 48th anniversary of the woeful Supreme Court decision making abortion legal across the nation.
“On the 48th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade, we recommit ourselves to ensuring that everyone has access to care – including reproductive health care – no matter their income, race, zip code, health insurance status, or immigration status,” Harris tweeted.
The wording of Harris’s post irked Lee, who replied, “Abortion isn’t healthcare.”
The governor invited his Twitter followers to commemorate the Roe v. Wade anniversary by donating $48 to the Tennessee-based pregnancy-support organization Hope Clinic.
Lee has been one of the state leaders at the forefront of the anti-abortion movement; last summer, he signed into law a bill that would have made Tennessee the home of some of the most significant restrictions against the procedure. If it had been allowed to stand, the law would have banned any abortions in cases when the fetal heartbeat can be detected in addition to other, common-sense protections.
The law, however, was challenged in court and blocked by a federal judge shortly after Lee signed it.
As for the new administration, they made it clear on Friday that they intend to not only protect Roe v. Wade but codify the ruling into federal law.
“The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to codifying Roe v Wade and appointing judges that respect foundational precedents like Roe,” the White House said in a statement. “In the past four years, reproductive health, including the right to choose, has been under relentless and extreme attack.”
These efforts have the full support of Planned Parenthood, of course. In a statement of her own on the anniversary, the organization’s president, Alexis McGill Johnson, said that Americans need more and better access to abortion.
“Nearly half a century later, abortion is a right in name only for millions of people across the country,” McGill Johnson said. “As reproductive justice organizations have said for years, Roe is the floor, not the ceiling. Without access to abortion, this right is meaningless. Now is the time for President Biden and our elected officials in states across the country to take necessary and immediate action to ensure that everyone, no matter their race, income, or ZIP code, has access to safe and legal abortion.”
We have no doubt that it will be one of the new president’s most essential priorities. No doubt at all.