VP Harris calls new Oklahoma law — most pro-life in the nation — part of ongoing 'war' on women's right to 'live and love'

Oklahoma state lawmakers on Thursday gave final approval to Texas-style legislation that would ban nearly all abortions in the state beginning at conception and empower state residents to file civil lawsuits against abortion providers or anyone who helps a woman terminate her pregnancy.

The new pro-life bill is now headed to the desk of Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has indicated he will sign it into law.

House Bill 4327, which only permits abortion in instances where the mother's life is in danger or if the pregnancy was the result of rape or incest reported to police, will likely become the strictest ban on abortion in the United States.

It follows in the footsteps of two other abortion restrictions passed in the state, the Associated Press reported. Another Texas-style bill that bans abortions after cardiac activity is detected has already taken effect and significantly curtailed the practice in Oklahoma. That bill was followed by yet another that makes it a felony to perform an abortion, punishing violators by up to 10 years in prison.

"Is our goal to defend the right to life or isn’t it?" state Rep. Wendi Stearman (R) asked colleagues prior to the vote on the most recent bill in an attempt to rally enthusiasm around the historic measure. The bill went on to pass 73-16, primarily along party lines.

"I value life, and it should never be permitted by law to take the life of a child born or unborn," Stearman later said in a press release. Her colleagues and the governor agree. Stitt has reportedly said that he will pass any pro-life legislation that comes across his desk.

News of the bill's passage immediately drew praise from Republicans and pro-life advocates in the state and across the country. But Democrats and abortion advocates decried the bill as yet another extreme attack on women's rights.

Vice President Kamala Harris slammed the bill during a virtual meeting with abortion providers and activists on Thursday, calling it "outrageous."

"[It's] outrageous, and it’s just the latest in a series of extreme laws around the country," Harris said. "Several of the medical professionals joining us today are seeing the impact of these laws that are designed to punish and control women."

This is a critical moment for reproductive rights. Today I am meeting with abortion providers and leading advocates who are on the frontlines of the war on women's rights. Tune in.https://twitter.com/i/broadcasts/1vOxwyZjBQWGB\u00a0\u2026
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@Vice President Kamala Harris) 1652983988

She went on to condemn the Oklahoma law as just the latest in a string of opportunistic assaults on abortion rights following a leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court showing that a majority of justices had decided to overturn the Roe v. Wade, a landmark ruling that that established the right to an abortion in 1973.

"The right to privacy that forms the basis of Roe is the same right to privacy that protects the right to use contraception and the right to marry the person you love, including a person of the same sex. Overturning Roe opens the door to restricting those rights," Harris argued,

She added: "It would be a direct assault on the fundamental right of self-determination — to live and love without interference from the government."

Democrats plan to fight potential Roe overturning — by sending out Kamala Harris. What could go wrong?

Pro-abortion Democrats outraged over news that the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to overturn its landmark ruling in Roe v. Wade are looking to Vice President Kamala Harris to be their champion. But Democrats should be warned; that strategy has been tried before, and failed.

What are the details?

The Los Angeles Times reported on Tuesday that the embattled vice president "is likely to play an expanded role in pushing the Democrats’ political case on protecting abortion rights" ahead of a formal ruling on the matter, expected sometime this summer.

In a statement issued Tuesday in response to a leaked draft memo of the forthcoming decision, Harris took hold of her vaunted position and proclaimed, "This is the time to fight for women."

"Opponents of Roe want to punish women and take away their rights to make decisions about their own bodies. Republican legislators in states across the country are weaponizing the use of the law against women," the vice president argued.

She added: "The rights of all Americans are at risk. If the right to privacy is weakened, every person could face a future in which the government can potentially interfere in the personal decisions you make about your life. This is the time to fight for women and for our country with everything we have."

This is the time to fight for women and our country with everything we have. My statement on the Supreme Court decision draft on Roe v. Wade.pic.twitter.com/5tvjOUTmZ2
— Vice President Kamala Harris (@Vice President Kamala Harris) 1651596600

Harris's combative statement was met with a positive response from abortion advocates on social media, many of whom are enraged over the notion that the right to an abortion — which was invented out of thin air in Roe — could soon be sent back to the states for deliberation.

They want to see national Democrats step up and do something. The current idea being postulated is to eliminate the filibuster and codify abortion rights in federal law.

"This is a moment that @VP should step up, must step up and lead," tweeted author David Rothkopf.

This is a moment that @VP should step up, must step up and lead what will be a movement that should play a decisive role in this November's elections. She has a unique historical role and is more than capable of doing it. We need her now.https://twitter.com/HerbieZiskend46/status/1521542100697096192\u00a0\u2026
— David Rothkopf (@David Rothkopf) 1651599313

Daily Beast columnist Wajahat Ali added, "Kamala Harris can emerge and own this moment ... She is the first Black female VP. She can marshall this energy and try to galvanize it."

Kamala Harris can emerge and own this moment. There is real righteous rage at Republicans for ending #RoeVWade. The majority wants fighters. She is the first Black female VP. She can marshall this energy and try to galvanize it. Smart political move as well. \n\nWho will step up?
— Wajahat Ali (@Wajahat Ali) 1651602604

Others on social media concurred with the opinion.

The Los Angeles Times even added that Harris "would be a natural point person for the administration to vocally raise the issue on the midterm campaign trail" thanks to her gender and her longstanding support for abortion.

"She’s been a champion of the pro-choice movement for a long time," noted Karen Finney, a NARAL Pro-Choice America board member and Harris ally. "She is a very important messenger to talk about the impact that this is going to have on women — from a health perspective, from the perspective of our bodily autonomy, from the perspective of rights, as a former attorney general."

What's the problem?

The problem for Democrats is this: Harris is historically unpopular and has failed remarkably at every initiative she's been tasked with leading as vice president — be that the border crisis, Russia-Ukraine diplomacy, or management of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In fact, Republicans will likely welcome the news that Harris may be tapped to lead on the abortion issue.

Early in President Biden's term, Harris was named point person on the unprecedented immigration crisis on the southern border. She responded by never so much as making a trip to the border and ultimately unveiling a vague, "root causes" strategy with no "detailed timeline or specific policy actions to be taken." She has since moved on from that task, yet the border assault still rages.

Late last year, she created a significant snafu for the Biden administration when she confusingly stated that the administration "didn't see" waves of virus variants "coming."

Most recently, Harris embarrassed herself after being dispatched to Germany to meet with top European leaders in hopes of deescalating the conflict between Russia and Ukraine and decreasing the chances of war. During the meeting, she declared that Russian President Vladimir Putin had "made his decision" to invade Ukraine while also promising that the U.S. would "absolutely" deter Putin from invading Ukraine.

Harris's failures have resulted in her earning a historically low 28% approval rating and caused many of her senior staff to resign in attempt to save their own careers.

But now, she apparently hopes to turn the tides on her disappointing vice presidency by saving the day on one of the most consequential issues in modern American history.