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Madame President?

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre mistakenly referred to Vice President Kamala Harris as “the president” during a Wednesday afternoon press conference.

The slip-up came in the first few minutes of the press conference, as Jean-Pierre announced Harris’ planned speaking engagement this Sunday, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Roe v. Wade in Florida this Sunday.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre speaks during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023.
(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Jean-Pierre pivoted abortion opponents against its supporters, accusing “ultra Maga Republicans” of trying to roll back women’s rights while “the president and the vice president remain committed to fighting these extreme attacks on women and expanding access to reproductive care.”

“This Sunday, the president will speak about the fight to secure women’s fundamental right to reproductive healthcare in the face of these attacks,” Jean-Pierre said, without realizing or correcting her mistake. “She will talk about what’s at stake for millions of women across the country and most importantly, the need for Congress to codify the protections of Roe into law.”

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Harris’s talk this Sunday comes months after the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion at the federal level.

US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during the Democratic National Committee Women's Leadership Forum in Washington, DC, US, on Friday, Sept.  30, 2022.

US Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during the Democratic National Committee Women’s Leadership Forum in Washington, DC, US, on Friday, Sept. 30, 2022.
(Leigh Vogel/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Administration officials said she’ll speak in Florida, where Democrats have been on guard for new efforts to restrict abortion from Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential candidate. The speech is a continuation of Harris’ focus on reproductive rights in recent months, which has included meetings with activists, healthcare providers and state lawyers from around the country.

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It’s also intended to signal that the administration isn’t giving up on abortion now that the midterm election is over.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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