4:51 P.M. EDT
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Hi! Good afternoon. (Applause.) Good afternoon. Good afternoon.
Oh, it’s always so good for us to all be together. What a powerful, powerful group of true patriots — of true patriots — (applause) — of true patriots. You know, because there’s something so important about this fight that we are in. So fundamental.
We are fighting on behalf of foundational principles — one of the most important principles upon which our nation was founded: the importance of freedom. Freedom. Freedom to make decisions about one’s own life, one’s own body. The freedom to be free from government interference when it comes to one’s private decisions, decisions that are about heart and home.
We are here because we love our country, we believe in these foundational principles, and we will always fight to achieve the ideals of our country. That’s why we are here together. (Applause.)
So I thank all the leaders who are here, including, of course, the most honorable members of the United States Congress — (applause) — our extraordinary Speaker Emerita, Nancy Pelosi. (Applause.) A great woman, a great leader — a great woman, a great leader, the champion of our administration for women and families, Dr. Jill Biden. (Applause.) And, of course, my husband — (applause) — the first Second Gentleman of the United States. (Applause.)
So it really is a joy and an honor to be with a group of folks, leaders of so many movements, but particularly the organizations that I’ve been proud to work with in my entire career.
Laphonza mentio- — mentioned it. I mean, I have received endorsements from these three organizations over the course of my career. And I do believe it is a function of the work that we have done together on so many issues that, again, are about freedom and about dignity and about autonomy and about the rights and the dignity to which all people are entitled.
So I want to thank EMILYs List, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL — (applause) — for all that you are and all that you do.
EMILYs List. I mean, Laphonza Butler, how about that? (Applause.) She is extraordinary.
And then, of course, Ellen Malcolm, who has just been a shining star in this movement for so long.
And, you know, as district attorney, as attorney general, I worked with NARAL on so many issues, including on our work to defeat an anti-choice ballot initiative and our work to protect health clinics and providers from violence. As a United States senator, I worked with Planned Parenthood on critical legislation, including — I was a proud co-sponsor of the Women’s Health Protection Act. (Applause.)
And so, there’s a lot of work that we have done together, providing us with the roadmap of what we will do going forward.
And for all of those reasons, today, President Biden and I are honored to accept the endorsement of these three organizations — (applause) — for four more years. (Applause.)
AUDIENCE: Four more years! Four more years! Four more years!
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Right? Exactly.
So, to get there, let’s talk about the work. (Laughs.) And let’s take a moment to really reflect on the historic progress that we’ve made thus far. You know, so many of us are always in the process of fighting to achieve full equality, full freedom, the rights that people are fully entitled to. But let’s always take a moment to also see what we have achieved thus far while we clearly see the moment that we are presently in.
So we have achieved a lot, and I know that in particular when the Dobbs decision came down, a lot of us — it — it hit us very hard. Doug talked about it. Jill has talked about it. We all know how we felt. It really — it — it was painful.
But let’s also remember what we have achieved together to continue to provide us with the sustenance that we rightly deserve to know that we make a difference when we are in this fight.
And let us center on this moment also — and I do believe this is a moment when we are seeing a national agenda which is a full-on attack on so many of our hard-won rights and freedoms that we thought were long settled but are now under attack. That’s the moment we are in, including, almost exactly one year ago, when the United States Supreme Court — the court of Thurgood, the court of RBG — took a constitutional right, that had been recognized, from the people of America, from the women of America; took the right of every woman to make decisions about her own body.
So, tomorrow, many of us will be — and I invite you — I know we’re going to be spread out all over the country, but I’ll be in Charlotte, North Carolina, where I intend to describe — (cheers) — where I intend to describe the impact of the past 365 days on the health, the safety, and the wellbeing of the women of our nation.
And the impact is clear. And a year later, it is also clear that extremists in Congress plan to ban abortion nationwide — nationwide.
But I have news for these extremists — as I look at all the friends and the leaders: The people of America will not accept that. Planned Parenthood will not accept that. (Applause.) NARAL Pro-Choice America will not accept that. (Applause.) EMILYs List will not accept that. (Applause.) And you know President Biden and I will not accept that. (Applause.)
And I do believe when you know what you stand for, you know what to fight for. We stand for the freedom of every American, including the freedom of every person everywhere to make decisions about their own body, their own healthcare, and their own doctor.
So we fight for reproductive rights and legislation that restores the protections of Roe v. Wade. And here’s the thing: The majority of Americans are with us. They agree. The majority of Americans are with us — (applause) — from Kansas to California, during the midterms. The evidence is clear. There’s empirical evidence of this point.
The majority of Americans agree that an important attribute — and I believe this; the President and I were talking about it — the majority of Americans, I know, also believe that an important attribute of a true leader is the ability to have empathy, to truly have some curiosity, concern, and care for the struggles of other people.
You know, there’s something happening in our country right now where some people would suggest that the measure of strength is based on who you beat down. That’s perverse. The true measure of strength is based on who you lift up. (Applause.)
So, as we move on, we know empathy is a true quality of a true leader. And that is the true Joe Biden, I might say. (Applause.)
And Americans know that when we go forward on this issue, it is also a truth that one does not have to abandon their faith or deeply held beliefs to agree the government should not be telling her what to do with her body. (Applause.)
So, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, EMILYs List — we stand and we fight for the women, for the people of America, and for the dedicated healthcare providers of America, providers like our next speaker — and I’m so proud to introduce her — an OBGYN who is on the frontlines of this fight.
Please welcome Dr. Serena Floyd, Medical Director for Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan Washington, D.C. (Applause.)
END 5:01 P.M. EDT