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Kamala Harris at the Essence Festival: Overthrowing Roe c. Wade ‘problematic on so many levels’


“This is a serious matter,” Harris said of the High Court’s strikeout last month of the federal constitutional right to abortion. “And that forces all of us to talk, talk and be active.”

Harris took part in a fireside chat with actress Keke Palmer in front of an audience of several hundred at one of the nation’s largest celebrations of African-American culture. During the conversation, she spoke of the cyclical fight for civil liberties and the urgency of not taking any rights that seem to be protected by “established law” for granted.

“The statement was made that the government has the right to come into your home and tell you as a woman and as a family what to do with your body,” Harris said.

“We have to recognize that we are a nation that was founded on certain principles that are…founded on the concept of liberty and liberty,” she said.

“We also know that we had a history in this country where the government tried to claim ownership of human bodies, and we had supposedly evolved from that time and that way of thinking,” the vice added. -President. “So it’s very problematic on a lot of levels; the impact it’s going to have on women without means.”

Last year, after Texas lawmakers moved to effectively ban abortion in the state, 154 economists filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in favor of upholding reproductive freedoms in the United States. , so women can achieve their full economic and educational potential, CNN previously reported.
Data from the landmark University of California San Francisco Turnaway study showed that household finances are a major factor in the decision to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. An analysis of data by the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that the majority of women seeking to terminate a pregnancy near gestational limits had incomes below the poverty line.

Women who were denied abortions, meanwhile, had higher poverty rates, higher unemployment, and greater need for government assistance. This, in turn, affects the economic well-being and prospects of their children, economists say.

Harris channeled a spirit of hope at the event and touted her work on maternal health while acknowledging that more needs to be done, especially for black women.

“Don’t get so overwhelmed that we get discouraged, and we think there’s nothing we can do about it. It’s in nature that these gains aren’t permanent, so we have to be vigilant, and we have to. … remember that we will always have to fight to maintain these rights,” Harris said.

Since the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, Harris has become one of the Biden administration’s top messengers on reproductive rights. The vice president has sought for several months to elevate the issue of maternal health care at a time when the maternal mortality rate disproportionately affects blacks and Native Americans. But since the Supreme Court ruling, Harris has repeatedly pointed out the broad impacts of the decision, including in a recent interview with CNN.

During the fireside chat, Harris praised the young leaders and urged their peers to volunteer, raise their voices on issues that matter to the people in their lives, and build coalitions.

“There is power in knowing that the vast majority of us have so much more in common than what separates us. See, people who try to attack our rights are trying to make people feel small and feel lonely,” Harris said, adding, “Because they want you to believe that you have no power and that you are alone.”

cnn

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