'I feel strongly': VP Kamala Harris says faith doesn't have to be abandoned to back women's rights

Melanie Lawson Image
Friday, September 9, 2022
VP Kamala Harris touches on abortion rights at religious convention
"One does not have to abandon their faith or religious beliefs to agree that a woman should be able to make a decision about her own body," the vice president said when she addressed thousands at the convention.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- One of the most powerful leaders in the nation landed in Houston Thursday for a two-day visit. Vice President Kamala Harris spoke to one of the country's largest and oldest Black organizations, the National Baptist Convention.

There, Harris talked to the crowd of thousands about her own faith, even giving a shoutout to her own Baptist pastor. She also addressed how the Biden Administration is fighting to improve the economy by pushing through a bill to fight inflation.

It was the topic of abortion that she was most passionate about though.

"A constitutional right that hadn't been recognized was taken away from the women of America, and people of America, and on this issue I feel very strongly," Harris said. "One does not have to abandon their faith or their religious beliefs to agree that a woman should be able to make that decision about her own body, and her government should not be making that decision for her."

She continued, "this is this is not about partisanship. It's not about who you voted for in the last election, or who you plan to vote for in the next election. In terms of political ideology, it's just a very practical principle, which is women should have the power to make decisions about their own bodies. It's that basic."

Another issue very important to Texans is immigration, and the flood of migrants coming across the border. The vice president is in charge of border security for the Biden Administration, and both sides have criticized her performance.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has spent $12 million of the state's money to bus migrants to northern cities, like New York, Chicago, and Washington D.C. He said he's doing so because he believes the federal government is ignoring the situation at the border.

Even D.C.'s Democratic Mayor Muriel Bowser has criticized the Biden Administration, saying she hasn't gotten the assistance her city needs. She declared a public emergency to respond to the influx of migrants in her city.

Harris did not mince words, especially when it came to her thoughts about Abbott.

"I would say that on this issue, people have to stop playing politics, and I speak in particular of folks here in Texas and the governor who has clearly made a decision to play games with this issue," Harris said. "Instead of actually focusing on what we need in terms of solutions, one of the first bills, that in fact, the first bill that the president and I proposed to Congress, is a need for the cleaning up of our immigration system, which includes of course, protecting our borders, but creating a pathway toward citizenship."

Harris also reflected on her historic role as the first woman and woman of color to become vice president. Harris said she thinks about it every day.

"I think we should all feel a sense of responsibility to make sure that we are inspiring people to know that their capacity and to know that there is no limit to their God-given potential. I feel a very strong sense of responsibility to do that every day," Harris said.

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