Diplomatic Reception Room
Eisenhower Executive Office Building

5:10 P.M. EDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Well, good afternoon, everyone.  I want to thank the leaders who are here at the table and virtually at the table for all the work that you do and have been doing for such a long time.

I thank you for the outreach that you provided to me and the President to bring everyone together to have this conversation and to join leaders in civil rights with leaders in reproductive rights and justice, to come together in the spirit of partnership, collaboration, community building, coalition building, and to build on a movement.

Because certainly we know that with the Supreme Court having made the decision in Dobbs to take a constitutional right, that had been recognized, from the people of America, from the women of America — has created a healthcare crisis in America and has highlighted the fact that, as we all know, we must be vigilant and we must stand shoulder-to-shoulder to ensure that every voice is represented in a way that allows them equal access to all that they need to thrive.  And this moment post-Dobbs highlights the fact that we still have a lot of work to do.

So we have come together, understanding our common principles and purpose based on the history of the work and the continuing work that each of you does every day.  And so I want to thank you for that.

And — and I will say that when we think of the intersection between the civil rights movement and the reproductive health and justice movement, there is an extraordinary intersection of interest, priorities, and spirit around what it means to stand for all people and ensure that all people have equal access to what they need.

I also want to mention that it is certainly, we think, not by accident, but probably by design, that we are seeing, from some of the same sources, attacks on women’s health rights, voting rights, LGBTQ rights.

And so we stand here in full acknowledgement of what is taking place in our country and the need then to bring people together who seemingly sometimes have nothing in common but who, in fact, have everything in common.

So, with that, I thank you again.  This is a movement that I do believe is about freedom, it is about justice, and it is about some of the core values that our country was founded on that we must stand for.

So, with that, I thank you.  I’m going to turn now to Emmy Ruiz, who is the head of Political Strategy and Outreach for the White House and for our administration, to moderate our discussion.  Emmy.

                               END                 5:13 P.M. EDT

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