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VP Harris calls Roe vs. Wade ruling a 'healthcare crisis' in Illinois speech

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VP Harris calls Roe vs. Wade ruling a 'healthcare crisis' in Illinois speech
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the C.W. Avery Family YMCA in Plainfield, Ill., on Friday. Photo by Christopher Dilts/UPI | License Photo

June 24 (UPI) -- Vice President Kamala Harris called the Supreme Court's ruling overturning Roe vs. Wade a "healthcare crisis" Friday as she traveled to Illinois to address maternal health.

According a fact sheet released ahead of her trip, Harris wasn't expected to speak about abortion, but the issue became the focus of her remarks in the hours after the high court's ruling.

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"This is a healthcare crisis," she said at the C.W. Avery Family YMCA in Plainfield, Ill.

"This is the first time in the history of our nation that a constitutional right has been taken from the people of America. And what is that right, some may ask? It's the right to privacy. Think about it as the right for each person to make intimate decisions about heart and home."

The 6-3 Supreme Court decision overturned the 1973 Roe vs. Wade ruling that legalized abortion nationwide. While the ruling itself does not outlaw abortion, it pushes the decision on its legality back to individual states, many of which have enacted bans or severe restrictions.

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President Joe Biden also addressed the ruling earlier Friday, calling it "a sad day for the country."

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"It doesn't mean the fight is over. Let me be clear and unambiguous. The only way we can secure a woman's right to choose is for Congress to restore the protections of Roe vs. Wade as federal law," he said.

Biden said the ruling does not prevent a woman from traveling to another state to get an abortion.

"My administration will defend that bedrock right," Biden said. "Any state ... that tries to interfere with a woman's right to travel, I will do everything in my power to fight that deeply un-American attack."

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Biden also said the administration will fight for a women's right to contraception and abortion pills that have been approved federally.

Clyde Hughes contributed to this report.

Demonstrators gather at Supreme Court after Roe vs. Wade overturned

Abortion opponents celebrate after the U.S. Supreme Court overturns Roe vs. Wade, ending federal abortion protection in Washington on Friday. Photo by Jemal Countess/UPI | License Photo

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