Vice President Kamala Harris told the annual NAACP convention Monday that the Supreme Court’s ruling overturning abortion rights is reminiscent of the era of slavery in the U.S. because women no longer have the right to control their bodies.
Speaking to the 113th convention of the civil-rights group in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Ms. Harris said the ruling last month by the conservative-majority high court “took a constitutional right that had been recognized from the people of America, from the women of America.”
“We know, NAACP, that our country has a history of claiming ownership over human bodies,” Ms. Harris said. “And today, extremist so-called leaders are criminalizing doctors and punishing women from making healthcare decisions for themselves.”
She said pro-life elected officials want abortion to be left to the states to decide.
“But at this moment, many of those same so-called leaders are the same ones who are passing laws to restrict the ability of people to vote,” she said in a reference to mostly southern states.
Ms. Harris was meeting later Monday with pro-choice New Jersey state legislators, as she has done in other states, to discuss taking steps to preserve abortion rights in state law.
The vice president urged attendees at the convention to elect more Democrats in the midterm elections to pass more gun laws, protect abortion rights and fight against what she called “un-American” state voting laws that restrict early voting.
“We must recognize, the dream of the movement remains unfinished,” she said. “No matter how many times they push us back, we will march forward. Friends — freedom, liberty and democracy are on the ballot this fall. We need to make sure our voices are heard. We need people who will defend our rights up and down the ballot.”