Vice President Harris joins House & Senate Democrats to protect the rights of citizens

PHILADELPHIA, July 17 – Vice President of the United States Kamala Harris traveled to Philadelphia Saturday to meet with more than three dozen state House and Senate Democrats, plus members of the state’s congressional delegation, to join the lawmakers in a call to action and to discuss the relentless effort of right-wing extremists to take away rights, starting with the right to abortion and reproductive health care.

“We are not asking anyone to compromise their beliefs or abandon their faith. We are simply saying the government should not be in the position nor should the government have the power to replace its beliefs for those of the woman. That's what we are saying,” Vice President Harris said. “We are talking about a situation in our nation right now where states and so-called leaders are passing laws that would criminalize medical health professionals, health care providers. We are talking about several states in our nation who will not allow an exception for rape or incest.” Harris then noted the national effort to put the right to codify abortion access into law.

“We are proud and honored to have the vice president come to speak to us about how we all can do our part to speak out, stand up, and fight back,” Pennsylvania House Democratic Leader Joanna McClinton, D-Phila./Delaware said. “It is so shocking the damage that has been done to our rights in just over three weeks, and even more shocking to realize the extremists will not stop there – the right to vote, the right to contraception, the right to same-sex marriage or interracial marriage are all at great risk. The vice president heard our words from the people we represent and challenged us all to renew our efforts and always remember our rights and our Constitution are there to protect each and every one of us.”

“It's comforting to know that we have an ally in Vice President Kamala Harris who understands the importance of saving our reproductive rights and the fight to preserve free and fair voting access,” said House Women’s Health Caucus co-chair Rep. Morgan Cephas, D-Phila. “In the immediate future, we need to ensure that Pennsylvania's health care system can handle the influx of women seeking an abortion or reproductive health care from neighboring states where that has been outlawed or made more difficult to access. For the long run, the Women's Health Caucus will continue to work to improve maternal health care infrastructure, reduce maternal mortality rates and fight at every level to codify our rights to ensure that they are never endangered again.” 

“We have work to do. It’s time to focus our energy into building a coalition that spreads over every county in Pennsylvania,” said Rep. Mary Jo Daley, House Women’s Health Caucus co-chair. “The coalition’s goal is to ensure that no rights are taken away from Pennsylvanians. Call your lawmakers at every level - local, state and federal, and ask them how you can help spread the word.”  

The vice president met with the lawmakers at a union hall just blocks from Independence Hall.