ATLANTIC CITY – In defiance of a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, and ongoing state efforts to limit voting rights on the heels of a former president who denied his own 2020 loss at the ballot box and tried to overturn national election results by exhorting a mob to storm the United States Capitol, Vice President Kamala Harris cited the core stakes for Americans this morning in her keynote address of the 113th annual NAACP Convention.
“We must protect the right of a woman to make decisions about her own body,” said the first African American, first woman to serve as the vice president of the United States, and longtime NAACP member.
The government should not make those decisions, Harris said to applause.
A woman should make should make those personal decisions, in consultation with her doctors, religious advisors and family and friends, she said.
“The former court of Thurgood Marshall took a Constitutional right that had been recognized from the women of America,” said the Vice President. “We know our country has a history of claiming [control] over a woman’s body.”
Then Harris drew a line from reproductive rights to voting rights as they pertain to the coming midterm elections.
“These so-called leaders [in favor of the Roe v. Wade repeal] claim ‘we just think these are decisions that are made by the states.'” But “many of those so-called leaders are passing laws restricting the ability to vote – laws that ban drop boxes and restrict early voting – undemocratic, un-American laws.
“We need to make sure our voices are heard,” Harris added. “There is a midterm coming up in 112 days. We’re not going to be able to get these days back. Each one of these days we must with a sense of urgency let the American people know the right to vote is at the core of all the other rights. We need people who will defend our rights up and down the ballot… We need two more votes in the United States Senate.”
The speech received considerable support in the convention hall here.
This morning, Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small greeted Harris at Atlantic City International Airport and welcomed her to the city after she emerged from Air Force Two.
In a running “This is Power” NAACP Conference theme hit head on by Harris, NAACP President/CEO Derrick Johnson in the lead up to the Vice President’s speech decried the “erosion of Constitutional freedom, including the right of a woman over her own body.”
In her speech, Harris also told the crowd at the NAACP convention that “we must repeal the liability that protects gun manufacturers; and renew the assault weapons ban.
“There is no reason for weapons of war on the streets of America,” said the Vice President.