Getty Images | Ethan Miller

Kamala Harris Announces Plan To Prohibit States From Restrictive Abortion Laws

The news in recent weeks has been full of states passing increasingly restrictive new laws aimed at curbing, and even outright banning, abortion. But on the other side of the aisle, prominent Democrats are speaking out.

The right to abortion is protected by the Supreme Court.

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The landmark Roe v. Wade ruling, made by the U.S. Supreme Court more than four decades ago, protected a woman's right to seek abortion services. But Roe v. Wade appears to be eroding.

Eight states are pushing back.

Eight states — Utah, Ohio, Missouri, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia — have passed restrictions in the early months of 2019 that will make it difficult, and in some cases impossible, for women to get abortions.

Alabama's banned it entirely.

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Even when a pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, Alabama's draconian new regulations don't allow abortions. It's a dangerous precedent, one that forces women to seek dangerous, black-market abortion services.

Kamala Harris isn't having it.

Twitter | @KamalaHarris

Senator Harris, a Democrat representing California, announced a plan aimed at curbing these restrictive laws. It's an interesting proposal, one that could see federal laws (like Roe v. Wade) supersede the motions of individual states.

How would it work?

Twitter | @KamalaHarris

Harris shared a lengthy explanation on her blog, but the long and short of it is that states would be required to seek approval from Washington before enacting these abortion laws.

It's called a 'preclearance requirement'.

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It sounds like something you'd go through at the airport, but the idea basically requires the Justice Department, a federal agency, to sign off on any proposed laws before they go into effect.

Harris is passionate about this.

Twitter | @KamalaHarris

She's called out states for passing these laws in recent weeks and also serves as a co-sponsor of the Women's Health Protection Act, which is aimed at stopping unnecessary abortion restrictions.

There's precedent.

Wikimedia Commons | Yoichi Okamoto - Lyndon Baines Johnson Library

1965's Voting Rights Act did away with racist and discriminatory laws that kept people of color away from the polls. For nearly half a century, the act did its job — but it was struck down in 2013.

It's a shot across the bow.

Twitter | @KamalaHarris

Harris plans to run for president as a Democrat in 2020. Rather than staying low-key ahead of election season, she's making her priorities crystal clear — and setting up what could be one of the key debates in the 2020 race.

Democrats intend to fight this.

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Fellow Democrat senators Elizabeth Warren and Cory Booker, who are also rumored to seek the party's nomination for president, have also spoken out against restrictive abortion laws and the erosion of Roe v. Wade.

Why doesn't Roe v. Wade stick?

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Because it's a ruling, but not quite a law, it's open to challenges. Democrats, nearly across the board, say they want to bolster the ruling by codifying it as law.

2020 will be interesting.

Getty Images | Ethan Miller

Two and a half years after Donald Trump's surprise 2016 victory, the focus is beginning to shift to 2020. Republicans in at least eight states have made their positions clear — and Democrats are ready to fight them on it.