Vice President Kamala Harris said the administration is not discussing Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s proposal to provide abortions on federal land in states where the procedure is banned, NBC News reports.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Elizabeth Warren urged the Biden administration to come up with ways to allow abortion-seekers to get the procedure in states that are banning abortions after the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade.
“I think one of the things that we know, too, is that there are also actions at President Biden’s disposal that he can mobilize. I’ll start with the babiest of the babiest of the baby steps: Open abortion clinics on federal lands in red states right now. Right now,” Ocasio-Cortez said at a protest Friday in New York.
Warren at a rally in Boston urged the White House to “explore just how much we can start using federal lands as a way to protect people who need access to abortions in all the states that either have banned abortions or are clearly on the threshold of doing so.”
“It’s not right now what we are discussing,” Harris told CNN’s Dana Bash on Monday when asked if Biden was looking at the proposal.
A White House official told NBC News that while the proposal is “well-intentioned” it “could put women and providers at risk.”
“Importantly, in states where abortion is now illegal, women and providers who are not federal employees could potentially be prosecuted,” the official said.
Democrats have been frustrated with a lack of action in response to the Supreme Court ruling.
“Leadership had a long time to know this was coming and to prepare something more than outrage from a podium and fund-raising appeals,” David Atkins, a Democratic National Committee member from California, told The New York Times. “There needs to be more fight.”
“If you’re Nancy Pelosi or you’re Joe Biden and you’ve lived your entire adult lives in these institutions that they thought basically worked, it’s very difficult to wrap your head around the fact that they’re collapsing,” added strategist Max Berger. “The thing we’re asking for more than anything else is for people to stop living in the past.”