- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday compared abortion bans to slavery in that they both are “claiming ownership over human bodies.”
“It’s important to note that to support a woman’s ability, not her government, but her to make that decision does not require anyone to abandon their faith or their beliefs,” Harris said in a speech to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
“It just requires us to agree the government shouldn’t be making that decision for her,” she added. “And think about it, for the first time in generations, the United States Supreme Court, the highest court of our land, the former court of Thurgood Marshall, 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.”
— Vice President Kamala Harris compares the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade to slavery during her keynote address at the annual NAACP conference pic.twitter.com/vl0Ycx9nlm
— The Recount (@therecount) July 18, 2022
She added: “We know, in NAACP, that our country has a history of claiming ownership over human bodies and today, extremist so-called leaders are criminalizing doctors, punishing women from healthcare decisions for themselves. Personal decisions, that is her right to make in consultation with her doctor, her pastor, her priest, her rabbi, her loved ones. Not her government telling her what to do.”
Harris’s comments come nearly a month after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, giving states the authority to regulate abortions within their borders.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre declined to respond to Harris’s comments on Monday when pressed by Fox News’s Peter Doocy.
“I have not seen her comments, I would like to see her comments for myself before –” the press secretary said before Doocy jumped in to read the comments to her.
Jean-Pierre replied, “I appreciate you reading out what she said, I need to actually see exactly what was said and in what complete context. That’s what I need to do as a spokesperson for the administration.”
On Monday, Harris also claimed lawmakers who argue abortion laws should be made on the state level are the same leaders who are working to take away voting rights in their states.
“And these so-called leaders claim that ‘well, you know, we just think that this is a decision that should be made by the folks in the states, people in the states can vote on this.’ But at this moment, many of these same so-called leaders are the same ones who are passing laws to restrict the ability of people to vote,” she claimed.
Harris’s speech came on the same day Prince Harry spoke out against “a global assault on democracy and freedom,” including an alleged “rolling back of constitutional rights in the United States” during a keynote address to the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
While many American and European leaders have been quick to criticize the Court’s decision, the Mississippi law at the center of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health outlawed abortion past the 15th week of pregnancy, which is in line with abortion policy in many other countries.
French president Emmanuel Macron responded to the ruling in saying, “Abortion is a fundamental right for all women. It must be protected. I wish to express my solidarity with the women whose liberties are being undermined by the Supreme Court of the United States.” However, the limit for abortion in France is 16 weeks.
U.K. prime minister Boris Johnson called the court’s ruling a “big step backwards.” Britain’s abortion law allows women to have an abortion up to 24 weeks after pregnancy after approval from two doctors who “must agree having the baby would pose a greater risk to the physical or mental health of the woman than a termination.” An abortion can legally be carried out if there is a “substantial risk” that the baby would “suffer from physical or mental abnormalities” or because of other social or financial circumstances.