Vice President Kamala Harris railed against a draft Supreme Court opinion showing that a majority of justices are prepared to strike down the landmark abortion ruling Roe v. Wade, denouncing a decision she said would deny women their “rights and their freedoms.”

Sending shock waves through Democratic circles, the leaked draft opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito would overturn federal abortion rights and return authority to restrict the procedure to the states.

“How dare they tell a woman what she can do and cannot do with her own body? How dare they?” said Harris Tuesday during an event for EMILY’s List, a Democratic fundraising group that supports female candidates who back abortion rights. “How dare they try to stop her from determining her own future? How dare they try to deny women their rights and their freedoms?”


Harris gave the Biden administration’s most forceful defense yet of the law, telling supporters that “women’s rights in America are under attack” and urging them to rise against their political opponents.

Overturning Roe, she said, would be a “direct attack against freedom.”

“It has never been more clear which party wants to expand our rights and which party wants to restrict them,” Harris continued, calling the moment a “new phase” of a multiyear fight.

Behind her, the words “WE ARE EMILY,” “HISTORY MAKERS,” “GAME CHANGERS,” “FREEDOM PROTECTORS,” AND “BARRIER BREAKERS” were emblazoned across the stage backdrop.

“There is nothing hypothetical about this moment,” Harris added.

The vice president delivered the speech hours after the Biden administration raced to respond to the leaked draft by urging voters to elect “pro-choice” lawmakers in the midterm elections. In a statement earlier in the day, she charged “opponents of Roe” with wanting “to punish women and take away their rights.”

Harris picked up the thread in her remarks later that evening, telling the crowd that “some Republican leaders” want to take the country back in time before the Supreme Court decision on abortion rights and could endanger other liberal precedents.

“They want to bully anyone who seeks or provides reproductive health care, and they want to criminalize and punish women for making these decisions,” she said Tuesday of Republican lawmakers.


“If the court overturns Roe v. Wade, it will be a direct assault on freedom, on the fundamental rights of self-determination to which all Americans are entitled,” she said.