Washington – Vice President Kamala Harris stressed the importance of voters casting their ballots in November’s midterm elections for a “Congress for Choice” to enshrine abortion rights into law after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
In an interview on “Face the Nation” that aired Sunday, Harris said last month’s Supreme Court decision cleared the way for states to pass new laws restricting or outright banning abortion.
“So what does that mean?” she said. “It means we’re looking at an election in 120 days, it’s going to be about who serves in Congress, and we need a Congress to elect.”
Harris emphasized that voters who support abortion rights must not only vote for candidates seeking federal office, but also those running in down-state elections.
“You don’t have to advocate or believe it’s right for you or your family, but don’t let the government decide for her family, whoever they are,” the vice president said. “It means state offices, governors, secretaries of state, attorneys general. It means local races, who’s going to be your DA, who’s going to be your sheriff, law enforcement that’s being passed to criminalize health care providers, and maybe even women seeking service .”
The Supreme Court ruling striking down the constitutional right to abortion sent shockwaves across the country as the procedure was banned in several Republican-led states with so-called trigger laws or limited in others that imposed restrictions pending the ruling.
President Biden took unilateral action Friday to combat potential penalties women seeking abortions could face as a result of the ruling, though the administration is limited in what it can do to protect abortion access nationwide.
Mr. Biden has come under fire from progressive lawmakers and activists for not being more aggressive on abortion, but the court’s decision also raised questions about why Democrats did not enshrine the right in federal law when they controlled the White House and both. chamber of Congress under former President Barack Obama.
Harris said she and her fellow Democrats believe the issue is resolved, which shows why the decision shook the nation.
“We certainly believe that certain problems are just being solved. Some problems are just being solved,” she said. “And that’s why I believe we’re living, unfortunately, in really troubled times.”
The vice president said the Supreme Court’s repeal of the constitutional right had caused “deep outrage” among the American people.
“Sit down and think about that for a moment. The Supreme Court in our country just accepted a constitutional right that was recognized for women to make decisions about their own bodies,” she said. “And so now we’re looking at a situation where the government can tell a person what they can and can’t do with their own body. You don’t have to agree that you want or would advocate for your loved one to have an abortion in order to agree that the government should not make this decision for any individual woman.”
The 5-4 ruling that overturned Roe also heightened criticism of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh, who was appointed to the Supreme Court by former President Donald Trump and assured senators during their confirmation hearings and closed-door meetings that they understood the importance of deference—constant precedents.
Asked if she believed the two judges should be impeached for misleading senators, Harris, who has served on the Senate and Judiciary Committees, said she never believed they were telling the truth.
“I’m coming from experience in the Senate. I never trusted them,” she said. “I didn’t believe them. That’s why I voted against it.”