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US VP Kamala Harris links overturning Roe v. Wade to legacy of government claiming ownership over bodies

Alan Santos (Palacio do Planalto) / Wikimedia Commons

US Vice President Kamala Harris appeared at this year’s Essence Festival, where she drew attention to the fight for the fundamental rights and freedoms of women following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Harris compared the court’s overturning of abortion rights to the legacy of the US government claiming ownership over bodies.

Harris appeared at the annual Essence Festival in New Orleans Saturday, where she made the comparison and criticized the court’s decision to reverse 50 years of precedent and that the overturning of Roe v. Wade would be felt by low-income communities the most. Harris also further encouraged those who were in attendance to continue to fight for their rights.

“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,” said Harris. “We have to recognize we’re a nation that was founded on certain principles that are …grounded in the concept of freedom and liberty.”

“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,” Harris added.

Harris has since emerged as a prominent champion for reproductive rights in the Biden administration since a leaked draft opinion by the Court was published online that would overturn Roe v. Wade.

Harris has also looked to raise awareness of Black maternal health as Black, and Native American women are more likely to die from pregnancy-related issues.

In a previous interview with CNN last month, Harris also admitted she was not convinced by the stances of former President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominees, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, regarding Roe v. Wade, whom Harris voted against during her time as a Senator for California.

Harris said she never believed the statements by Gorsuch and Kavanaugh during their confirmation hearings over whether they would preserve Roe v. Wade, which is why she voted against their confirmations.

Harris’s comments came as Maine GOP Senator Susan Collins said that she felt misled by Kavanaugh, who told her he would preserve Roe v. Wade.

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