Vice President Kamala Harris gave a full-throated rebuke of the Republican Party on Tuesday after a Supreme Court draft decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade was leaked to the press, stating if the landmark 1973 ruling that made abortions a constitutional right is voided, it is not only an attack on women but an attack on freedom.
“If the court overturns Roe vs. Wade, it will be a direct assault on freedom, on the fundamental right of self-determination to which all Americans are entitled,” she said during the EMILY’s List national gala held Tuesday at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C.
The vice president made the remark after POLITICO published a draft Supreme Court decision to overrule Roe vs. Wade and Planned Parenthood vs. Casey, which largely maintained one’s right to the medical procedure, sparking protests out front of the high court and worry among those who support a women’s right to abortion.
The draft decision, which is not final, was signed by five conservative justices in connection to a challenge against Mississippi’s controversial 15-week abortion ban. It also comes as Republican-led states nationwide seek to pass restrictions on the medical procedure.
If the leaked Supreme Court decision stands, women in half the country would see their access to abortion restricted and those in 13 states would lose their access immediately and outright, Harris said, accusing some Republican leaders pushing these restrictions of trying to “weaponize” to law against women.
“How dare they. How dare they tell a woman what she can do and not do with her own body. How dare they. How dare they try to stop her from determining her own future. How dare they try to deny women their rights and their freedoms,” she said.
Harris was scheduled as a special guest for the event held by the political action committee that seeks to elect Democratic women who support abortion rights, with the leaked decision giving the gala more immediate significance.
The vice president said there is “nothing hypothetical about this moment,” calling on the organization to continue its work to have more Democrats elected to office.
She said those seeking to ban abortions nationwide not only want to “bully” reproductive healthcare providers and “criminalize and punish women” but want to threaten the right to privacy.
“When the right to privacy is attacked, anyone in our country may face a future where the government can interfere with their personal decisions — Not just women. Anyone,” she said. “And it has never been more clear which party wants to expand our rights and which party wants to restrict them. It has never been more clear. It has never been more clear which party wants to lead us forward and which party wants to push us back.”
She said there are Republicans who want to not only repeal Roe vs. Wade but other decisions that recognized same-sex couples and other decisions to enshrine protections for privacy and personal freedoms, but that they will keep fighting.
“If you stand for freedom, for self-determination for the right to privacy, if you stand for these principles, stand with us, because, you see, women’s issues are America’s issues, and democracies, democracies cannot be strong if the rights of women are under attack,” she said. “So to all here I say, let us fight for our country and for the principles upon which it was founded and let us fight with everything we’ve got.”
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