Vice President Kamala Harris slammed the Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade in remarks in Illinois on Friday. Harris was initially supposed to unveil a new administration strategy to improve maternal health, but said “this is a health care crisis.”
“For nearly 50 years, we have talked about what Roe v. Wade protects,” Harris said in a speech. “Today … we can only talk about what Roe v. Wade protected. Past tense. This is a health care crisis.”
The vice president, the first woman elected to the office in the US, said millions of women will go to bed tonight without access to the same healthcare protections that they had just this morning. And that their mothers and grandmothers had as well.
“This is the first time in our history that a constitutional right has been taken from the people of America,” she added.
Harris said the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade today could also affect other "rights that we thought were settled" — including same-sex marriage.
"This opinion also says when you read it, that abortion is not deeply rooted in our nation's history. They offer that in the opinion as a foundation for the decision they rendered today. In holding that it is not deeply rooted in our history, today's decision on that theory, then, calls into question other rights that we thought were settled, such as the right to use birth control, the right to same-sex marriage, the right to interracial marriage," the vice president said, speaking in Illinois.
"The great aspiration of our nation has been to expand freedom. But the expansion of freedom clearly is not inevitable. It is not something that just happens — not unless we defend our most fundamental principles. Not unless we elect leaders who stand up for those principles," Harris said.
"You have the power to elect leaders who will defend and protect your rights. And as the president said earlier today, with your vote, you can act, and you have the final word. So this is not over," she said.