Remarks by Vice President Harris on the 50th Anniversary of Roe v. Wade

The moon
Tallahassee, Florida

12:21 PM EST

VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you. (Applause.) Dr. Sujatha Prabhakaran, where are you? she is there She just left the stage (laughs) but she’s always on stage.

AUDIENCE: We love you!

THE VICE PRESIDENT: And we love all of our frontline people. And this room is full of them. (Applause.) Full of them.

Good afternoon everybody. It’s good to be back in Florida. (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: (inaudible) Tallahassee.

THE VICE PRESIDENT: And Tallahassee in the house. (Applause.)

So, before I talk about the issue we’re all called to, I want to address the tragedy of what happened in my home state, in Monterey Park, California. A moment of cultural celebration, and yet another community has been torn apart by senseless gun violence.

So Doug and I join the President and Dr. Biden and I know everyone here weeping for those who were killed, as we pray for those who were injured, and as we mourn for those whose lives have been changed forever.

All of us in this room and in our country understand that this violence must stop.

And President Biden and I and our administration will continue to fully support local authorities as we learn more.

And with that, I want to address another topic, which is why we are all coming together today. I am honored to be with the members of the United States Congress who are here, state and local elected officials — (applause) —

AUDIENCE: Thanks for coming!

VICE PRESIDENT: I’m glad to be with you. (Applause.)

And all the coalition partners that are represented there. (Applause.) Let’s leave it to everyone. (Applause.)

So we are here together because we collectively believe and know that America is a promise. America is a promise. It is a promise of freedom and liberty, not for some, but for all. (Applause.)

A promise we made in the Declaration of Independence that we are all endowed with the right to freedom and the pursuit of happiness. (Applause.)

be clear These rights were not granted to us. They belong to us as Americans. (Applause.)

And it is this liberty and freedom that allowed generations of Americans to chart their own course and decide their own future with, yes, ambition and aspiration. Herein lies the strength of our nation.

And since our founding, we have been on a march forward to fully fulfill our promise to complete the unfinished business of securing freedom and liberty for all. (Applause.)

Now, these results will not be inevitable. They won’t just happen. It takes constant determination and dedication. The kind of determination and dedication that some of our greatest patriots have—those Americans who fought a Civil War to end the sin of slavery (applause) who organized in Seneca Falls to secure the right to women’s vote (applause) who launched the Freedom Rides to advance civil rights (applause) and spoke at the Stonewall Inn to defend human rights. (Applause.)


In each of these movements, those leaders expanded the rights that then advanced the cause of freedom and liberty.

And 50 years ago today, so did those who won a battle at the United States Supreme Court to recognize a woman’s fundamental constitutional right to make decisions about her own body (applause) and not the government. (Applause.)

For nearly 50 years, Americans relied on the rights that Roe protected. Today, however, on what would have been its 50th anniversary, we talk about the Roe decision in the past tense:


THE VICE PRESIDENT: — because, last June, the Supreme Court of the United States took away this constitutional right — a fundamental right, a basic freedom — from the people of America —


THE VICE PRESIDENT: — of the women of America.

The Court’s action has already resulted in many dedicated doctors and nurses now losing their ability to care for their patients, providers going to jail just for doing their jobs, and patients being denied critical care and they even fear that they will simply be punished. to seek attention

It has meant that a 10-year-old girl in Ohio who was sexually assaulted and became pregnant had to leave her home, had to leave her home state and travel to another for care. It has meant that the doctor who treated her suffered death threats and efforts to have his medical license revoked.

And for Amanda, a 35-year-old woman from Texas, it meant that in the midst of a miscarriage, she was denied treatment three times in three days in an emergency room because of the abortion ban of this state. And only after she developed sepsis, an infection that nearly killed her, did the hospital finally admit her.

Thank God Amanda survived. And she, with her husband, Josh, is here today. (Applause.) And I want to thank both of you for having the courage to tell your story in a way that will inspire so many people and their families to know that they are not alone.

The consequences of the Supreme Court’s ruling are not limited only to those in need of reproductive care. Other basic health services are at risk.

Consider Emma, ​​a 14-year-old girl who lives in Arizona. So Emma manages her chronic arthritis with medication that allows her to go to school and live without constant pain. But the medication that helps can also cause pregnancy loss. So, just weeks after Dobbs’ decision, their pharmacy initially refused to fill their prescription, fearing they could be prosecuted under the state’s sweeping law.

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All of these devastating experiences are the direct result of laws designed by extremists, even in states like Florida. (Applause.)

Last year, the so-called State House leaders here in Tallahassee:


THE VICE PRESIDENT: — passed a sweeping ban on abortion with no exceptions, including for survivors of crimes like rape and child abuse and human trafficking.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Here in Florida, health care providers face prison — up to five years in prison for simply doing their job.

And now the state has also targeted medication abortion and even threatened Florida pharmacists with criminal charges if they provide drugs prescribed by medical professionals.

And Florida is not alone. Twenty-two states have announced they will not follow new federal rules that allow women to get prescription drugs from a certified pharmacy. Imagine.

So today we are fighting. (Applause.)

I am pleased to announce that President Biden – I am announcing this today – has issued a presidential memorandum on this issue.

Now, by order of the president, members of our cabinet and our administration are ordered to identify barriers to access to prescription drugs and recommend actions to ensure that doctors can legally prescribe, that pharmacies can dispense and that women can secure themselves safely and securely. effective medication (Applause.)

So President Biden has done it.

While we work to protect this aspect of reproductive care, many states have gone even further and now have outright bans in place.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Alabama, Missouri and South Dakota, just to name a few.

And as we understand, as clinics close in these states, as clinics close in these states, patients have lost access to other basic care, such as routine checkups, cancer screenings, and birth control.

And to everyone listening, rest assured that no one is immune to these impacts, even in states that protect reproductive rights like New Jersey, Illinois, Oregon. Even then, people live in fear of what might happen next because Republicans in Congress are now calling for a nationwide abortion ban.


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Some even from the moment of conception.

The right of every woman in every state in this country to make decisions about her own body is at stake. And I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: How dare they? (Applause.) How dare they?

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And, you know, there’s a collection of words, there’s a collection of words that mean everything to us as Americans: the heartfelt words of our great national anthem. That America is the land of the free and the home of the brave.

But let’s ask ourselves, can we really be free if a woman can’t make decisions about her own body?


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Can we really be free if a doctor can’t take care of his patients?


THE VICE PRESIDENT: Can we really be free if families can’t make intimate decisions about the course of their own lives?


THE VICE PRESIDENT: And can we really be free if so-called leaders claim to be, quote, quote, “on the cutting edge of freedom,” while daring to curtail the rights of the American people and attack them foundations of freedom? ? (Applause.)

You clearly understand, most Americans, most Americans oppose these attacks.

Americans of all backgrounds and communities have expressed their perspective: from Kansas to California, Michigan, Montana, Kentucky and Vermont. They spoke with their vote.

In essence, they said, you don’t have to give up your faith or deeply held beliefs to accept that the government shouldn’t tell people what to do with their own bodies. (Applause.)

So know this: President Biden and I agree and we will never back down. We will not back down. (Applause.) And we know that, we know that this fight will not be won until we secure that right for all Americans.

Congress must pass a bill that protects freedom and liberty. (Applause.) A bill that protects reproductive rights. And President Biden will sign it. (Applause.)

So, yes, America is a promise. A promise we must all make a reality in every state and community, in every state, in every doctor’s office, and yes, in every election.

So to all friends and leaders, I say: We will not get tired or discouraged, because we are on the right side of history. (Applause.)

So we will continue together in the fight to protect the freedom and liberty of all people, of all women everywhere.

And here and now, on this 50th anniversary, we decide to make history and guarantee this right. (Applause.)

Today, I invite all Americans to join us and remember: when we fight, we win. (Applause.)

Thank you all. May God bless you. And God bless America. Thank you all. (Applause.)

END 12:39 PM EST


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