Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) made sure reproductive rights were included in the discussion about health care during Tuesday night’s presidential debate.
“This is the sixth debate we have had in this presidential cycle and not nearly one word ― with all of these discussions about health care ― on women’s access to reproductive health care, which is under full-on attack in America today,” the presidential contender said.
Although she never used the word “abortion,” Harris was referring to the onslaught of anti-abortion legislation that has passed in states across the country in the last six months. States including Alabama, Georgia, Ohio and Missouri have banned abortions as early as the first trimester.
The senator said it’s “outrageous” that reproductive health care has not been included in ongoing conversations about health care in the presidential debate.
“It is not an exaggeration to say women will die — poor women, women of color will die —because these Republican legislatures in these various states who are out of touch with America are telling women what to do with our bodies,” she added.
“People need to keep their hands off of women’s bodies and let women make the decisions about their own lives,” Harris said. “Let’s talk about that. That is a significant health care issue in America today.”
Moments later, Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) added support to Harris’ comment, calling the war on abortion rights a “clear and existential threat in America.”
“We are seeing all over this country women’s reproductive rights under attack, and God bless Kamala, but you know what? Women should not be the only ones taking up this cause and this fight,” he said. “And men, it is not just because women are our daughters and our friends and our wives, it’s because women are people and people deserve to control their own bodies.”