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Tipsheet

VP Harris Holds Roundtable With University Leaders Over Abortion Access

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

In the wake of the Supreme Court's historic overturning of Roe v. Wade, Vice President Kamala Harris met with college and university leaders Monday to discuss the availability of abortion, which the White House dubbed "reproductive healthcare," and its availability to college-aged women. During the roundtable, Harris used the opportunity to promote the accomplishments of the Biden administration.

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The roundtable discussion kicked off when the vice president pat herself on the back for breaking the tie on the Senate vote this past weekend to pass the so-called "Inflation Reduction Act" which was met with cheers from those in attendance.

As Townhall has reported, though, the "Inflation Reduction Act" will not reduce inflation at all. It's just an appealing name for a package of unnecessary budget items.

During her self-praise session, in which she referred to the Biden administration as "our administration," she said she and the president have created jobs, lowered unemployment, and "rescued small business." She failed to add that inflation is at a historic high, the economy is in a recession, and almost half of America's small businesses are in danger of closing for good within the next few months. Harris then shifted the conversation to abortion by questioning the legitimacy of the Supreme Court, a common theme among pro-abortion liberals, as Townhall has reported.

As Harris introduced the college and university leaders at the table, she said that they were at the forefront of the aftermath of the Court's decision to "take" a "Constitutional right" to abortion.

They [college and university leaders] are building the future of our nation to meet the challenges of the moment, but we are also doing that in the context of a decision by the United States Supreme Court to take a constitutional right — that had been recognized — from the people of America, from the women of America. And let's note that we also understand and know that the majority of women that will be impacted by this decision are between the ages of 20 and 29. And so many of them are college age or will be attending college.

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In response to Harris' remarks, the college and university leaders spouted tired pro-abortion talking points, many of which are false. For example, one brought up the debunked claim that Roe's fall puts the legality of gay marriage and contraception in jeopardy. Another university president said Dobbs is about more than just abortion.

From a practical standpoint, Dobbs is so much bigger than the right to have an abortion. It's more about reproductive rights and it's about states rights. It gave so much power back to the states. Students must understand that and become more active in voting at various levels — at the state level — and understand the issues that are out there.

The last speaker, the chancellor of the City University of New York, praised Gov. Kathy Hochul (D-NY) for working to reinforce access to abortion in what he called the "aftermath" of Dobbs.

We're all grappling with the many dimensions of the Dobbs ruling ... and I do want to also highlight that we know — particularly when you're dealing with students who come from low socioeconomic backgrounds and students of color — many times an unwanted pregnancy can be one of the things that derails a higher education. It's one of the classic issues for students dropping out. That is a particularly large issue in our community colleges. 40% of our students come from that sector and I want to highlight the importance, as a former community college student, a president in the south Bronx, I know what that means to that population and I want to highlight that.

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He, too, referenced the debunked claim that Dobbs puts the legality of gay marriage in danger. He closed the roundtable with a call for higher education leaders to advocate for social justice.

We have an obligation to keep all these students moving forward, to empower them to overcome all the obstacles that come their way, and to ensure that our campuses will continue to serve as catalysts not only for students' success and social mobility but also for social justice.

Townhall has covered that the Supreme Court found that there was no Constitutional right to abortion established by Roe, and, in 1992, Planned Parenthood v. Casey. In the majority opinion, Justice Samuel Alito outlined this. 

The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.

Alito pointed to Plessy v. Ferguson, an 1896 decision that claimed that "separate but equal" did not violate the U.S. Constitution. In 1954, Brown v. Board of Education overturned it.

Like the infamous decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, Roe was also egregiously wrong and on a collision course with the Constitution from the day it was decided. Casey perpetuated its errors, calling both sides of the national controversy to resolve their debate, but in doing so, Casey necessarily declared a winning side. Those on the losing side—those who sought to advance the State’s interest in fetal life—could no longer seek to persuade their elected representatives to adopt policies consistent with their views. The Court short-circuited the democratic process by closing it to the large number of Americans who disagreed with Roe.

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Townhall has reported how college and universities are responding to the Dobbs decision. Some in California and Massachusetts will provide easy access to medication abortions, which in some cases can be obtained and taken at home without meeting with a physician in-person.

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