VP Kamala Harris at NAACP convention in N.J.

‘Freedom and liberty and democracy are on the ballot’

Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday sounded an alarm for a woman’s right to choose and the ability to vote and against gun violence, as she urged members of the NAACP’s national convention in Atlantic City to protect hard-fought constitutional guarantees she warned are now being eroded.

“Freedom and liberty and democracy are on the ballot, and we have to make sure our voices are heard,” she said, in a speech clearly aimed at laying out what was at stake in the coming 2022 midterm elections.

The vice president’s speech was part of an effort to highlight the accomplishments of President Joe Biden’s administration over the past two years. Harris, the first woman and first person of color to serve as vice president, spoke of economic inequities that still fall disproportionately on Black communities and women.

“We see and are prepared to address the disparities that are holding so many people back in our nation — disparities that we see in education, in economic opportunity, in housing, healthcare, and more,” she said.

She talked of educational opportunities that are not accessible to all children and noted the lack of proper health care that still has an unequal impact on so many people.

“Today, in America, Black women are three times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes. Native American women are more than twice as likely to die,” she said. “Rural women are more than one and a half times more likely to die. So we have elevated, for an obvious reason, the issue of maternal health so it will be a national priority.”

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