Vice President Harris on Monday said it was “not by accident, but probably by design” that the same “sources” who threaten abortion rights also work against voting rights and LGBTQ rights.
Harris made the remarks at a meeting she convened with civil rights and abortion rights activists. Attendees included Rev. Al Sharpton, Planned Parenthood CEO Alexis McGill Johnson and Center for Reproductive Rights CEO Nancy Northup.
“Certainly we know that with the Supreme Court having made the decision in Dobbs to take a constitutional right — that had been recognized — from the people of America, from the women of America has created a health care crisis in America,” Harris said, referring to the June Supreme Court ruling striking down federal abortion protections.
“I also want to mention that it is certainly, we think, not by accident, but probably by design that we are seeing from some of the same sources attacks on women’s health rights, voting rights, LGBTQ rights. And so we stand here in full acknowledgement of what has taken place in our country,” Harris added.
Harris has taken on the role within the Biden administration of pushing back against threats to abortion rights since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade in June.
Her assertion that the Supreme Court caused a “health care crisis in America” comes just days after she made more pointed remarks about the highest court in the U.S.
Harris referred to the Supreme Court as an “activist court” during an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press” last week, adding that the court’s decision to overturn Roe caused her “great concern about the integrity of the Court overall.”
The reproductive rights leaders who gathered on Monday echoed Harris’s sentiments.
“Tens of millions of women. trans men and nonbinary people cannot access the care they need in their communities. And those that are most affected are those who are already facing barriers to care: Black, Latinx, Indigenous communities, rural communities, immigrant communities,” McGill Johnson from Planned Parenthood said at the meeting.
Melanie Campbell, CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, noted that courts had historically been places where Black women were able to achieve justice when laws failed them.
“Unfortunately, we are in a perilous chapter in our nation where too many of our courts have been turned into instruments for partisan gain, all with the aim of reserving power for a select few,” Campbell said. “Today we find ourselves in this moment where the highest court in the land is stripping away our constitutional rights and freedoms.”