After creating some commuting headaches for tens of thousands of motorists, Vice President Kamala Harris departed from Los Angeles International Airport aboard Air Force Two Tuesday, bound for San Francisco, concluding a four-day visit to Los Angeles that included a discussion on efforts to protect reproductive rights.
Harris departed from LAX around 8:30 a.m. But her motorcade from West Los Angeles to the airport prompted a full shutdown of the southbound San Diego (405) Freeway in the midst of the morning rush hour. The closure created a miles-long backup, with some reports saying the delays stretched as far back as the Ronald Reagan (118) Freeway in Mission Hills.
During an appearance Monday, Harris said Congress will have to act to ensure women’s ability to seek an abortion is ensured.
“This is about freedom and liberty,” Harris said during the event at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center in the Mid-City area. “Twenty-two days, there is an election. That is a fact.”
She added, “We need to hold on to what we have, and we need two more senators,” imploring attendees to support pro-choice candidates in the upcoming election to protect Democrats’ voting power in Washington.
“We’re going to have to protect these rights by having national legislation,” she said. “… We need people in Congress to recognize that responsibility.”
About 200 people attended the event, which featured opening remarks by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. Also in attendance were mayoral candidate Rep. Karen Bass, D-Los Angeles; Attorney General Rob Bonta; and Sen. Alex Padilla, D-California.
“Abortion is a fundamental right in America,” Padilla said in a statement following the event. “While in California, the right to an abortion is currently safe, the worst thing we could do is grow numb to this crisis.”
He called on residents to support Proposition 1 on the November ballot, codifying the right to an abortion in the state Constitution. But he said a similar step is needed nationally.
“That’s why we must continue to grow our Democratic majorities so we can prevent a national abortion ban,” Padilla said.
There was no immediate response to an email sent Monday night to the campaign opposing Proposition 1.
The rebuttal to the argument in favor of Proposition 1 in the Official Voter Information Guide distributed to voters by the Secretary of State’s Office declares that “Proposition 1 is not needed to protect abortion rights but it will cost California taxpayers millions” through the increased number of abortion seekers from other states coming to California.
“California law already allows access to abortion and contraception,” attorney Heather Hacker said in the rebuttal. “But unlike state law, which limits late-term abortions unless medically necessary, Proposition 1 has no limit on late-term abortions.”
Harris spoke for about 20 minutes at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Studio City later Monday, recounting the Biden administration’s victories then discussing the Democratic Party’s fight for abortion access.
The fundraiser drew about 100 people to the home of Liz Naftali, a DNC deputy national finance chair, Biden appointee to U.S. Commission for the Preservation of America’s Heritage Abroad and owner of a commercial real estate company in Los Angeles’ Fashion District.
The fundraising speech was Harris’ second in three days. She spoke at a Michigan Democratic Party fundraiser Saturday in Detroit.
Harris is also scheduled to speak at a DNC fundraiser in the San Francisco Bay Area Tuesday afternoon.
Harris arrived at Los Angeles International Airport on Saturday from Detroit, where she also toured the Focus: Hope Manufacturing Training Facility in Detroit and spoke at a voter education event with students at Southfield High School for the Arts and Technology in Southfield, Michigan.
Harris had no public events Sunday.
The visit was Harris’ first to Los Angeles since Aug. 25-28.