Jul 3, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Harris says Roe ruling an example of U.S. "trying to claim ownership over human bodies"

Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris speaks onstage during the 2022 Essence Festival of Culture at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center on July 2, 2022 in New Orleans, Louisian

Kamala Harris speaks onstage during the 2022 Essence Festival of Culture on July 2 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Essence

The Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade is part of a long legacy of the U.S. "trying to claim ownership over human bodies," Vice President Kamala Harris said while speaking at the Essence Fest in New Orleans on Saturday.

Driving the news: In the wake of the decision, abortion is now illegal in nine states, but at least 26 Republican-led states are expected to ban or heavily restrict access to the procedure.

What they're saying: "The statement has been made that the government has a right to come in your home and tell you as a woman and as a family what you should do with your body," Harris told the audience.

  • "We have to recognize we're a nation that was founded on certain principles that are … grounded in the concept of freedom and liberty," she added.
  • "We also know we've had a history in this country of government trying to claim ownership over human bodies, and we had supposedly evolved from that time and that way of thinking."
  • "So this is very problematic on so many levels, the impact that it is going to have on women without means."

The bottom line: "This is a serious matter and it requires all of us to speak up, to speak out and to be active," Harris said.

Go deeper: Harris says she "never believed" Trump SCOTUS nominees on Roe

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