Vice President Kamala Harris greets members of the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard at Mitchell International Airport before delivering remarks at the Democratic Attorneys General Association Conference Thursday in Milwaukee. Photo by Jeffrey Phelps/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 22 (UPI) -- Vice President Kamala Harris warned Democratic attorneys general, meeting in Milwaukee Thursday, that the country's "fundamental rights are at assault," in an appeal to voters less than seven weeks before the midterm elections.
Harris urged those in attendance at the Democratic Attorneys General Association Conference to keep "fighting on the front lines to defend our rights," as she blasted the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade, that guaranteed access to abortion.
"At this moment in our nation some of our most fundamental rights are at assault," Harris said. "Could you have ever imagined in your lifetime that would happen, such a fundamental right?"
"As attorneys general you share a fundamental belief in the principles of fairness, equality and justice. And every day you fight for those ideals," Harris said. "Your work makes real the promise of America in so many ways and in the lives of so many people. And as I said that cannot be more true than it is today when so much is at stake."
Harris, who served as attorney general of California before she was elected to the Senate in 2017, applauded action taken in a number of states to protect abortion access. In Wisconsin, attorney general Josh Kaul and Gov. Tony Evers have challenged a state law that bans nearly all abortions, with no exceptions for rape and incest.
"With the limited resources every attorney general has, our friend here has to use his resources to fight a ban that was passed in 1849, before women even had a right to vote, and somebody is trying to push the legitimacy of that law and he has to fight against it," Harris said referring to Kaul's efforts.
Harris also discussed ongoing efforts in Congress to codify same-sex marriage into law and to pass civil rights and voting reforms.
"Today our nation faces many threats to our rights and freedoms. And we must stand united to uphold the sacred oath," Harris said.
In addition to meeting with attorneys general Thursday, Harris traveled to UW-Milwaukee where she spoke with 13 Hispanic leaders, including Milwaukee Common Council President Jose Perez. She also visited with students in an American Government and Politics class where she talked about the climate crisis.
"Part of your leadership that I'm asking of you is to remind people about communities, about the whole, that we are all in this together," Harris said. "You guys will pay the price for what we do or what we have not done."