Remarks by Vice President Harris During Roundtable With Nevada State Legislators To Discuss Reproductive Healthcare
By: Office of Vice President
MGM Grand Marquee Hotel
Las Vegas, Nevada
12:56 P.M. PDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Thank you, General Ford. I want to thank these extraordinary leaders — the leaders of Nevada both in elected positions and those who are on the frontlines on this issue, and so many more. You are, obviously, local and state leaders, but you are also national leaders. And the discussion that we will have today will really highlight some of the extraordinary work that you are doing, which is going to have an impact on the people of Nevada, but the people of our country by extension.
Before I — before I speak specifically to the Dobbs decision, I do want to also say a few words about today’s inflation numbers. Today, we learned that our economy had zero percent inflation in July. And that means that there has been a drop of price — in terms of gas, airfares, clothing, household appliances, and more — combined with other economic progress, which includes the fact that we have created over half a million jobs last month and over 9 million jobs in the last 18 months, which means that we have recovered all the jobs that were lost during the pandemic. We are seeing great progress. Unemployment is now at 3.5, which is the lowest that unemployment has been in our country in half a century.
So we are seeing that we’re delivering for the American people. And we still have more to do, but our vision has included what we have done together with the leaders here: We cut child poverty in our first year by 40 percent because of an extension of the Child Tax Credit. That has had an impact on the children of Nevada.
We have rescued small businesses, many of whom I’ve met here in Nevada who are doing extraordinary work. And hoped that they would be able to keep their doors open so that they could do the extraordinary work of being not only business leaders but civic leaders.
We are removing lead from pipes and upgrading our roads and bridges.
And, of course, we nominated and has — and she has been confirmed — Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.
So we have seen great accomplishment, including legislation that the President will sign soon, which will be an historic investment in the climate crisis.
I have been to Lake Mead. We all know what this means for western states, for the whole country — a $370 billion investment, which will be historic for our country, but also ensure our role of leadership around the globe.
So I am happy to be with these leaders, and I want to thank you for your part in allowing our administration and our country to see the progress that we’ve seen thus far.
On the issue of the Dobbs decision. So, the United States Supreme Court, in the Dobbs decision, took a constitutional right, that had been recognized, from the people of America, from the women of America. And what we have seen around the country are extremist so-called leaders passing laws to punish women, to criminalize healthcare providers.
In states — in many states, we’re seeing an approach that suggests there should even be no exception in the cases of rape or incest. And I will tell you, having spent a large part of my career as a prosecutor — and I specialized in child sexual assault cases and violence against women — the idea that laws would be passed that after a person has endured such an act of violence to not allow her to exercise the self-determination then to make decisions about her body and her future is abhorrent.
So this is what we are seeing happening around our country. But we also saw what happened in Kansas, where a very important point was made obvious: This is a nonpartisan issue.
No matter who you voted for in the last election, who you plan on voting for in the next election, I think we should all agree that our nation was founded on certain fundamental principles, including the principles of freedom and liberty.
And another very important point on this issue is that to stand for the proposition that the government should not interfere in the most intimate, private decision a person can make about their body and their future, to stand in support of that does not require one to abandon their faith or their beliefs.
It’s simply saying the government should not be making that decision for her and that the government should not be telling a woman what to do with her body.
So, there are fundamental principles at stake here. And our administration, as General Ford has said, is taking action. The President has signed executive orders, and we will be doing more.
But as it relates to the leaders here in Nevada, we know that, again, the work that must be done to stand for the women of America and agree that we trust them to make decisions that are in their best interest and not have the government tell them what is in their best interest is something that all people should be standing for, understanding that this is, yes, about the women of Nevada, but it’s about the women of America.
And in that way, I want to thank the Nevada legislature for what you’ve been doing. You all have been fighting on the frontlines to protect women, including Assemblywoman Selena Torres, who I met with last week in my Ceremonial Office in Washington, D.C.
And again, General Ford was one of the leaders who came to Washington to talk with other attorneys general about what this means in terms of standing for fundamental principles that are about justice.
I will close by saying that this, in many ways, sadly, may just be the beginning. We have a Supreme Court justice — his name is Clarence Thomas — who said the quiet part out loud when talking about other fundamental rights that we thought were long settled may be up for debate or even attack, including the right to have access to contraception, same-sex marriage.
So everyone is impacted by this decision in one way or another, and we must all stand for the principles upon, again, which our great nation was founded, which is freedom and liberty for all, including the women of America.
So, with that, I thank you all for your leadership. I’m looking forward to our conversation.
And I’ll turn the microphone to the Attorney General.
END 1:01 P.M. PDT