Democrat presidential candidate Kamala Harris promised Tuesday to force states and localities to answer to the Department of Justice before pro-life laws can take effect.
“Harris will require, for the first time, that states and localities with a history of violating Roe v. Wade obtain approval from her Department of Justice before any abortion law or practice can take effect,” the Reproductive Rights Act plan posted to Harris’s website states.
Harris’s plan essentially compares states that pass laws protecting unborn babies to states that at one time denied rights to black Americans. She compares her abortion protection plan’s preclearance requirement to the 1965 Voting Rights Act’s preclearance requirements that made states seek approval from the U.S. Attorney General to enact voting laws if they were seen as having a history of discrimination.
Harris’s plan notes and criticizes the fact that in 2013 the Supreme Court struck down the Voting Rights Act preclearance requirement after which she crafted her own plan.
The 2020 candidate’s plan comes as a wave of states including Alabama, Missouri, and Georgia, have passed pro-life laws that place restrictions on abortions.
A woman’s constitutional right to an abortion is under attack. Today I announced a plan as president to block these dangerous and deadly state laws before they take effect. https://t.co/zKJtsgwQUM
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) May 28, 2019
Harris’s plan will consider a quarter-century-worth of a state or localities’ history on Roe v. Wade in determining whether they are subject to Harris’s“preclearance requirement.”
States and localities found to be out of line in the preclearance process will not be able to enact their own law relating to abortion before the U.S. Department of Justice “certifies it comports with Roe v. Wade.”
Harris’s plan ties not only to Roe v. Wade, but to a plan she currently co-sponsors in the U.S. Senate, the “Women’s Health Protection Act.”
“Jurisdictions will be required to submit any proposed change to DOJ,” the plan states. “If the jurisdiction is unable to prove the change comports with Roe and the Women’s Health Protection Act, DOJ must object to the change.”
The plan goes even further than restricting a states’ right to pass and enact their own laws, but also restricts the power of the President of the United States and the president’s administration. “Guardrails will ensure DOJ enforces the law even under an administration that’s hostile to women’s rights—and patients and providers will have standing to sue if they don’t,” Harris’s plan states.