COLUMBIA, S.C. — 2020 presidential candidate Kamala Harris denied being alarmist when she issued a dire warning about the possible impact the slew of recent anti-abortion measures will have on poor women.
“Poor women will die,” the senator from California said at a women’s meet-and-greet on Friday. “Poor women in America will die. This is not being an alarmist. They’re not going to be able to afford to go to the states that still allow access to choice. And so they will take it into their own hands and that back alley. And so that’s where we have to be real about what all this means. And that’s why I will fight every day for a women’s right to choose.”
Harris, who is in the early-voting state for the South Carolina Democratic Party’s convention, has been vocal on the issue since jurisdictions across the country started rolling out laws restricting access to abortions. Her comments Friday follow a St. Louis judge finding that a Missouri Planned Parenthood could remain open. Without the ruling, Missouri would have become the only state without an abortion provider since the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.
Harris sought to emphasize the economics of reproductive rights during her first campaign event of the weekend. She has previously said she holds “a legitimate fear” that women may “go back to back alleys, going to go back to a situation where women may die.”
“It is well established that there is a direct connection between the suppression of women’s access to healthcare and their economic status in society,” Harris said Friday. “So this is an issue that is not only what should be an individual right, it is an issue that is not only about privacy rights under the Constitution of the United States, it is also about economic well-being.”
Abortion is second only to immigration in topics being discussed in conjunction with the 2020 Democratic primary race in South Carolina and nationally, according to analysis released this month by researchers at the University of South Carolina. Columbia will play host to 22 of the 23 White House hopefuls this weekend for the state party’s convention, as well as House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn’s “World Famous” fish fry and the Blue Palmetto Dinner.