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9 Reasons to Love Kamala Harris

Throughout her career, Kamala Harris has been a defender of reproductive rights and health care. Her addition to the ticket makes clear that in the White House, a Biden administration would not only protect reproductive rights, but also advance and expand them.

2020 has been a hard year — but if anything, that makes us more excited for this year’s presidential election. With the selection of Sen. Kamala Harris of California as Joe Biden’s nominee for vice president, we might have our greatest-yet reason for optimism about what comes next. 

Throughout her career, Kamala Harris has been a defender of reproductive rights and health care. She has stood up for the principle that when it comes to our health, our bodies, and our futures, WE decide, not politicians. And she has stood up for communities — especially people of color and those with low-incomes — hit hard by the Trump-Pence agenda of less access to abortion, birth control, and health care.

Biden’s selection of Harris makes it clear that in the White House, their administration would not only protect reproductive rights — but also advance and expand them. That’s reason enough to get excited about Harris, but let’s not stop there. Here come nine more! 

 

Photo credit (top): Gage Skidmore, Flickr

1. Breaking Barriers 

As the first Black woman AND the first Asian American to join the presidential ticket of a major party, Harris lives — and has thrived — at the intersection of multiple identities. She’s also the child of first-generation immigrants, with a Tamil heritage through her mother and a Jamaican lineage through her father. 

2-3. Defending Abortion Access

2. When Texas enacted targeted restrictions on abortion providers to block the safe, legal access to abortion in violation of Roe v. Wade, Harris — as the attorney general of California — joined a brief that urged the United States Supreme Court to protect abortion access. (The name of that case was Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt — and we WON.)

3. As a presidential candidate, Harris proposed a plan that would require some states to get preclearance from the U.S. Department of Justice before abortion restrictions could go into effect. “We cannot tolerate … going backward and not understanding women have agency, women have value, women have authority to make decisions about their own lives and their own bodies.”

4. Advocating Access to Birth Control

5-6. Fighting for Health Equity

5. Harris has worked to address the health inequities and systemic bias that contribute to high rates of maternal mortality in Black communities, saying that Black mothers are “facing a health crisis that is driven in part by implicit bias in our health care system. We must take action to address this issue, and we must do it with the sense of urgency it deserves.”

6. In the U.S. Senate, Harris has cosponsored the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act of 2020 — a comprehensive set of regulations and investments to address the crisis in Black women’s maternal mortality. 

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7. Protecting the Federal Courts

As a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Harris subjected Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to tough scrutiny of his record on reproductive rights and freedoms — and asked one question that left Kavanaugh near speechless.

8. Speaking Up for Immigrants

A daughter of Jamaican and Indian immigrants, Harris has fiercely defended immigrant and refugee communities in the U.S. In her maiden speech as a senator, she spoke out against Trump’s Muslim Ban and other executive orders targeting immigrants — saying Trump had “created deep uncertainty and pain for our refugee and immigrant communities.” Harris has supported clean passage of the DREAM Act — and wrote legislation to lift the ban on DACA recipients working in Congress.

9. Dancing. And Drumlines.

Enough said.

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Biden v. Trump

This year, we decide who will use the powers of the presidency to keep people safe, put the public interest first, and fight to expand access to health care. The choice is clear.