Remarks by Vice President HarrisBefore Roundtable to Discuss Roe V. Wade

By: White House: Office of the Vice President 

Vice President’s Ceremonial Office
Eisenhower Executive Office Building

2:32 P.M. EDT

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, good afternoon, everyone.  Thank you for being here to be a part of this conversation.  And I look forward to — to consulting with you about the implications of what we believe might be the Supreme Court’s decision on Roe and what the implications of that will be for the people of our country.

I think we all believe and know that our nation was founded on certain principles that we hold dear: principles of freedom, liberty, and self-determination.  And I do believe that all of those principles are at stake when we look at the leaked draft opinion about what this decision may end up being.

From these principles, most notably, come the constitutional right to privacy — the right of an individual to make decisions about their life, about their family, about their body without government interference.  And so, there’s a lot at stake in the outcome of this decision. 

And for that reason, I’ve asked these — these experts to be here to talk with me about how we might best prepare the American people for the consequences of what this decision will be — in terms of their life and the choices that they are able to make and have a right to make — so that, at the very least, folks can be prepared.

But I do believe that we should prepare for the right to privacy to be attacked and under attack with this decision, and that will have a number of implications.  If Roe is overturned, I believe that states will then have the power to interfere in personal decisions.  I do believe that there are three specific areas that we should be prepared to address. 

One is the issue of data privacy and the potential that if Roe is overturned, that states that have criminalized abortion could subpoena a woman’s personal data.  And so, I’m — I want to talk to these experts about their concern and the level of their concern about that very issue, including, for example, the vulnerability of women who are using menstrual tracking apps; those who use a search engine to find certain locations or certain help, in terms of their reproductive health, and how vulnerable those searches will be to bad actors attempting to track their history, much less any government forces that may be interested in investigating that for whatever purpose.

The issue of IVF — in vitro fertilization.  I have a concern that if Roe is overturned, states with abortion bans could potentially restrict IVF if their definition of life begins at the point of fertilization.  So I’d like to talk with these experts about their thoughts about that and whether the law is established or not — well established or not, in terms of the protection that individuals have if they are in the process of IVF.

 And then on the issue of contraception, if Roe is overturned, we believe that states with abortion bans from the moment of fertilization could potentially restrict specific types of contraception — in particular, IUDs and the so-called morning-after pill.  And so, I’d like to talk with these experts about their thoughts, in terms of the legal theories that would be at play if that were to take place.

I do believe that overturning Roe could clear the way for challenges to other fundamental rights, including the right to use contraception and — and same-sex marriage.  And so, I’m going to talk with these folks about that.

And I think it’s a very important point to make that many of the states that have passed trigger ban laws are also the states that are passing laws to restrict trans rights, gay rights, and the freedom to vote.

And when you look at a diagram of the — just a Venn diagram, in that regard, it tells a real tale of the ideo- — ideological perspective that some of these state legislatures have, in terms of this various — these various rights that — that folks have been given as part of what we believe are inherent rights under the principles and the ideals and the values that we hold dear.

So I look forward to this conversation.  In particular, again, it is focused on the right to privacy to which all Americans should be entitled and what we must do to be aware of what the Court might be doing to attack those rights to privacy and — and what we can do to educate and inform the American people of what is at stake with this decision coming down, probably sometime this month.

So, with that, let’s get started with our conversation.  And I thank the press for being part of this part of it.

Thank you.  See you later.

END                 2:38 P.M. EDT