Harris Emerges as the Voice of Abortion Rights in the Biden Administration

WASHINGTON — With three words last week, Vice President Kamala Harris inserted herself forcefully into the roiling debate over abortion rights — and may have finally seized on an issue that is popular among key Democratic voters, plays to her strengths and is central to the future of her party.

“How dare they?” she demanded.

Her question — delivered more as a statement of outrage — came in a speech to Emily’s List, an abortion rights group, just hours after the leak of a draft Supreme Court opinion indicating that at least five of the court’s conservative justices were prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade. That would eliminate the constitutional right to privacy that has guaranteed access to abortion for women for more than half a century.

“How dare they tell a woman what she can and cannot do with her own body?” Ms. Harris said at the gala in Washington, D.C. “How dare they try to stop her from determining her own future? How dare they try to deny women their rights and their freedoms?”

Since then, Ms. Harris, the first female vice president and the former top prosecutor in California, has been among the most outspoken abortion rights voices in the Biden administration. In a commencement speech over the weekend, she decried living in an “unsettled world” where Americans are forced to defend “the rights of women to make decisions about their own body.” On Wednesday, she presided over the Senate as Republicans blocked a Democratic attempt to write Roe’s abortion protections into law.

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