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What to know about Vice President Harris' visit to Waukesha County

Vice President Kamala Harris is visiting Waukesha County on Monday as part of her nationwide “Fight for Reproductive Freedoms” tour.
Posted at 9:07 AM, Jan 22, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-22 10:07:22-05

WAUKESHA COUNTY — Vice President Kamala Harris is visiting Waukesha County on Monday as part of her nationwide “Fight for Reproductive Freedoms” tour.

While the exact time and location have yet to be announced, this is the first stop on the tour, which coincides with the 51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

During her stop, she will “highlight the harm caused by extreme abortion bans and share stories of those who have been impacted in Wisconsin and across the country,” according to a media advisory from the VP’s office.

Harris said she'll call on Congress to restore the protections of Roe and outline steps the Biden-Harris administration is taking to protect access to health care.

Many people in Waukesha had no idea the Vice President was making the stop.

“I’m happy they’re coming here at least. It’s a good town to get your feet underneath I guess. You can really get a good sense of the people here,” Sean Zsori, a Waukesha resident, said.

While many people had different stances on the issue, they agreed it’s one driving people to the polls this year.

“People my age are very passionate about what’s going on and I would say people are going to go to the polls because they want their voice heard. Abortion is a big one and women’s rights and equality,” Emily Knault, a Carroll College graduate, explained.

Other Waukesha residents agreed, adding that they believed people in their community have strong values, one way or another.

“After the last election, with everything being so cloudy, I think a lot of people are going to come out in droves this election. Everybody I know that has a stance is super passionate about it,” Zsori said.

The Vice President’s visit is happening on the same day as a public hearing for a new Republican bill that would ban abortion after 14 weeks of pregnancy except in situations where the mother’s health would be endangered.

It was introduced Friday by assembly Republicans and would shorten the window for a woman to legally get an abortion by six weeks.

The bill requires voters to approve the policy, but Governor Tony Evers vowed to veto the bill if it made it to his desk.

Abortion has been a big issue in Wisconsin since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, which put back into place an 1849 statute banning all abortions except when a mother would die without one.

Abortion access was restored in Wisconsin in December after a Dane County Circuit judge ruled that the statute was outdated.

The lawsuit will likely end up before the state Supreme Court, which became liberal-leaning for the first time in more than a decade when Janet Protasiewicz was sworn in summer 2023.

This is the Vice President’s fifth visit to the state since being sworn in.