Harris forecasts that protections for birth control and same sex marriage will come under threat

‘I definitely believe this is not over,’ says vice-president in wake of US supreme court ruling

The US supreme court will in future look to overturn other social rights including same sex marriage and contraception, vice-president Kamala Harris has forecast.

In an interview with CNN on Monday in the aftermath of the ruling to eliminate a right to abortion she said: “I definitely believe that this is not over”.

Justice Clarence Thomas urged last Friday that the court revisit social rights that were determined in the same manner as the right to abortion under the “Roe V Wade” decision in 1973. These included the right to contraception, right to same sex relationships and the right to same sex marriage.

Ms Harris argued that conservative supreme court justice had “just said the quiet part out loud”.

“And I think that is why we all must really understand the significance of what just happened. This is profound. And the way that this decision has come down, has been so driven, I think, by the politics of the issue versus what should be the values that we place on freedom and liberty in our country.”

Ms Harris described the supreme court decision last week to eliminate a 50-year-old constitutional right to abortion as “shocking”.

She said in the interview with CNN that she never believed comments made by three supreme court justices nominated by the former president Donald Trump in their senate confirmation hearing regarding “Roe V Wade”.

“I never believed them. I didn’t believe them. That’s why I voted against them.

“I was clear to me when I was sitting in that chair as a member of the senate judiciary committee, that they were... very likely to do what they just did. That was my perspective. That was my opinion. And that’s why I voted like I did.”

The vice-president said the Biden administration would do everything in its power to protect the right of women to travel for abortion and to access abortion medication.

However she signalled that the White House was not looking to try get around state bans on abortion by establishing clinics on federal land.

“It’s not (something) right now that we are discussing,

Following the supreme court ruling last week, it will now be up to politicians in the various states to determine if and in what circumstances abortions will be available in their areas in future.

The vice-president said in 13 states there would now be legislation banning abortions even for victims of rape and incest.

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent