Kamala Harris calls leaked Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe v Wade a ‘direct assault on freedom’

Vice president delivers furious remarks to women’s political action group EMILY’s List

Eric Garcia,Alex Woodward
Wednesday 04 May 2022 01:22
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What the US Supreme Court leak means for Roe vs Wade and abortion rights in America

Vice President Kamala Harris assailed a leaked draft opinion by the Supreme Court that would overturn Roe v Wade and effectively curtail the right to an abortion in the United States as a “direct assault on freedom.”

Ms Harris made the remarks at a conference for EMILY’s List, a group that raises money for Democratic female candidates who support abortion rights.

“It has never been more clear which party wants to lead us forward and which party wants to push us back,” she said. “Those Republicans leaders who are trying the weaponise the use of the law against women, well we say, how dare they. How dare they tell a woman what she can do and cannot do with her own body.”

The vice president’s remarks came the day after Politico published a leaked draft opinion written by Associate Justice Samuel Alito for Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which said “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.” But Ms Harris said that Roe v Wade, which enshrines constitutional protections to abortion care, “has protected a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body for nearly half a century”

“At its core, Roe recognizes the fundamental right to privacy,” she said. “When the right to privacy is attacked, anyone in our country may face a future where the government can interfere in our decisions … It has never been more clear which party wants to expand our rights and wants to restrict them.”

On Monday, Ms Harris had tested negative for Covid-19 after testing positive last week, which allowed her to attend the event in person.

The speech comes as Democrats are attempting to defend their slim 50-seat majority in the Senate and 12-seat majority in the House of Representatives.

“It has never been more clear which party wants to lead us forward and which party wants to push us back,” she said.

Democratic women are running in competitive Senate races in Wisconsin and North Carolina and in the less competitive state of Florida. Sarah Godlewski, whom EMILY’s List endorsed in Wisconsin, said she was in town for the event on Monday evening when she heard about the leaked draft decision and joined demonstrators in front of the US Supreme Court.

“I was just actually leaving dinner where we were talking about the importance of electing pro-choice Democratic women,” Ms Godlewski, who serves as Wisconin’s treasurer, said. “And we’ve had 50 years to codify this into law. And we’ve had the House, the Senate, the White House and we still haven’t gotten this done and now we have to wait for this final hour to do something.”

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