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VP Kamala Harris hosts roundtable event in Philadelphia. Photo: Anexis Morales/AFP via Getty Images.
VP Kamala Harris hosts roundtable event in Philadelphia. Photo: Anexis Morales/AFP via Getty Images.

Vice President Kamala Harris touched down in Philadelphia to talk abortion

US Vice President Kamala Harris arrived in Philadelphia on Saturday morning as part of a nationwide effort to further reproductive health policies.

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On Saturday, July 16, Vice President Kamala Harris came to Philadelphia as part of a nationwide effort to convene leaders who have been on the frontlines of abortion rights at the state level.

“I thank you, for, on this Saturday morning, we can discuss what is at stake and what we are collectively prepared to do to fight for the rights of the American people,” Harris said. 

Harris met with local and state representatives in a roundtable discussion to touch base on the current state of affairs. The event took place at a union hall, where over 40 state lawmakers and members of Congress were in attendance. 

“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.

“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 ensure that our rights remain intact for generations to come.” she added. 

Pennsylvania Republicans advanced constitutional amendments in the senate chambers which, if passed twice, will become an issue voters will decide on the ballots. Democratic state lawmakers were vociferous in their opposition, accusing their conservative counterparts of sneaking in legislation while no one was watching. 

State Rep. Joanna McClinton was among the fiercest voices, slamming Republicans for attempting to skirt public scrutiny.

“When you silence us and don’t allow us to amend bills that won’t let people vote; that won’t let women to make their own decisions; you’re silencing all of us,” decried McClinton.

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If successful, the amendment would ban abortion entirely in Pennsylvania.

“I know you are fighting against great odds, and that you are undeterred, and that you are standing in defense, of again, these most fundamental rights,” said Harris, addressing the roundtable. 

Following the overturning of the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, the governor’s mansion has served as a stronghold, impeding and vetoing new legislation by Republican lawmakers to significantly restrict abortion rights in the commonwealth. 

Pennsylvania’s governor race has drawn the White Houses’ attention, as the two candidates represent polar opposites on abortion policy. The elected governor could determine safe passage for anti-abortion legislation.

After the roundtable, Harris headed to Samuel Staten Jr. Building of the Laborers’ District Council in a surprise appearance to campaign for Josh Shapiro, the Democratic candidate for governor. 

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