Kamala Harris photo

Remarks by the Vice President at the L.A. Sentinel Women's Luncheon in Los Angeles, California

April 12, 2024

THE VICE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon, Los Angeles. (Applause.) (Inaudible.) I am so — I'm so happy to be able to see you, Pat and our senator, and I just — I wanted to stop by. It wasn't planned. We kind of thought we'd pulled it off. (Inaudible.) (Laughter.)

Please have a seat. I — I just wanted to stop by. You know, we all know what this luncheon means. We all know what we mean to each other. We all know what this moment in our country is. And I just wanted to come by to thank all of those who are here for your voice, for the role models that you are, for your courage.

And you know, we — we know: Black women are always leading us forward — (applause) — (inaudible).

And — and on this issue, you know, I was in Arizona yesterday. And, I mean, I'm telling you (inaudible) laws from the 1800s — from the 1800s. (Inaudible.) They brought back this law before Arizona was even a state, before women could vote.

I mean, think about it. Just about two years ago, the highest court in our land — the court of Thurgood and RBG — took a constitutional right that had been recognized from the women of America. And thereafter, in state after state, laws have been proposed and passed that would criminalize healthcare providers, doctors and nurses; punish women; make no exception, even for rape and incest.

And, you know, many of you know I started my career as a prosecutor. You may not know why. So, when I was in high school, I learned one of my best friends was being molested by her stepfather. And I said to her, "You have to come live with us." And I called my mother and my mother said, "Of course, she has to come live with us." And she did.

And so, I decided at a young age I wanted to do the work that was about protecting women and children from harm. (Applause.)

And here's the thing about (inaudible) and the cruelty of it. No exception in some states, even for rape or incest. So, you are saying to a survivor of a crime of violence to their body — a violation to their body — that they have no right to make a decision about what happens to their body next. That's immoral.

And look, when we take a look at the situation, there is no ambiguity about who is to blame. The former President Donald Trump hand-selected three members of the United States Supreme Court with the intention that they would overturn Roe. And it was exactly as he intended.

And now he walks around talking about, "Well, you know, the states will do what they want to do." Well, look at what the states have done. The states are passing Trump abortion bans.

So, we're not going to fall for the okie-doke. (Applause.) We are not going to be gaslit about what is at play and who is to blame.

And I'll just end with this. We have the power. (Applause.) We have the power. And we're not about to let anybody take our power from us.

Elections matter. Elections matter. And I know that we will stand, we will march, we will organize, and we will remind folks of their power to make the ultimate decision coming in November, which is to decide what kind of country do we want to live in. And let's make that decision for ourselves — (applause) — and our nation.

Thank you, all. Good to see you. (Inaudible.) (Applause.)

Kamala Harris, Remarks by the Vice President at the L.A. Sentinel Women's Luncheon in Los Angeles, California Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/371244

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