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AMWA Attends Rally with Vice President Kamala Harris One Year Post-Roe

…when you know what you stand for, you know what to fight for.”

These were the concluding words of Vice President Kamala Harris at a rally in Charlotte, North Carolina on the 1 year anniversary of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a ruling which overturned the constitutional right to abortion established in Roe v. Wade (1973). AMWA was one of many organizations honored to be invited to the event.

Introducing Vice-President Kamala Harris was Dr. Amy Bryant, a board-certified OB/Gyn physician who spoke of the roller coaster of medical care as a result of recent legislations and the consequences of abortion bans, especially the impact in communities of color already suffering poor maternal and infant health outcomes.

Dr. Bryant stated, “I did not go into medicine to practice law. I went into medicine to provide compassionate, patient-centered care based on the best available scientific evidence, and if there is one thing that have learned in my two decades of being a doctor, pregnancy is just too complicated to legislate.” Watch her speech here.

Vice President Kamala Harris spoke of the promise of freedom in America, the historic fight to realize these freedoms, and the attack on “fundamental rights” posed by the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health.

“Right now in our country, 1 in 3 women of reproductive age live in a state with a ban,” stated the Vice President.

She went on to talk about the “chaos, confusion, and fear” that these laws have created, even when women’s lives have been at risk.” She shared stories of women have been turned away from care after the hospitals consult with lawyers about criminal liability enforceable by extreme state laws, stories of physicians who fear the consequence of life imprisonment for providing necessary medical care, and stories of women who now avoid living in or moving to states with abortion bans.

She also pointed out the fact that Wisconsin has enacted a law that was written in 1849, before women had the right to vote and before the elevator, the lightbulb, and the telephone had been invented. And the fact that the politicians creating these laws “don’t even understand how a woman’s body actually works.”

She spoke of the paradox that states with abortion bans in effect have among the highest rates of maternal mortality. And the somber reality that states like Georgia, Oklahoma, and Texas have no ob/gyns in half of their counties.

And finally, she spoke of uniting people around the core perspective that “one does not have to abandon their faith or deeply held beliefs to agree that the government should not be telling her what to do with her body.” Watch the speech here.

The Biden-Harris Adminstration has taken steps to protect access to emergency medical care, to support women who travel out of state for care, and to protect women’s privacy. The Vice President called on Congress to pass legislation that would restore protections for reproductive care.

The speaker line-up also included Congresswoman Alma Adams, Congressman Jeff Jackson, Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra, Attorney General Josh Stein, Governor Roy Cooper, and women affected directly by the ban who shared heartfelt personal testimonials. The overriding theme: patients and physicians have a right to make decisions for their own bodies without fear of the law.

  • HHS Secretary Javier Becerra: Just one day earlier, the Secretary had spoken about the fact that reproductive rights in different areas of the U.S. are like a “tale of two cities.”
  • North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper, reflected on the recent 12-week abortion ban passed by the State General Assembly, despite his veto: “They passed a bill with no amendments and with no input faster than the 72-hour waiting period they imposed on women before an abortion.” This ban takes effect July 1.
  • Congresswoman Alma Adams: “Abortion bans by design lead to grave bodily harm or even death because these bans assume that we don’t know what’s going on with our own bodies and they deprive women of care. That is why the right to abortion care is fundamental to preserving a women’s rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”
  • State Attorney General Josh Stein: “The number one job of the State Attorney’s General is to protect people and that is exactly why we are all here in Charlotte. We are here to declare that we will not go backward.”

AMWA was honored to send a delegation to the rally, including physicians, interns, residents, medical students, and undergraduate members. We were also joined by allies, including Amber McCracken, Senior Director of Communications, HealthyWomen. In attendance at the rally were people from across the political spectrum, different advocacy groups, mothers, grandmothers, and sons and daughters.

  • “I was honored to represent AMWA at this historic event. The power in the room was palpable, and we left inspired by the Vice President’s words to stand for and fight for reproductive justice.  I also appreciated meeting and speaking with Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff – a true he for she ally. – Dr. Roberta Gebhard (AMWA President 2019-2020)
  • “Dr. Amy Bryant, an abortion provider in North Carolina, said today at the VP rally that she did not go into medicine to practice law. Yet, lawyers are preventing abortion providers all over the country from providing care.”  Dr. Arghavan Salles (AMWA Board Member)
  • “This rally was a war cry for change. Every individual present represented hope and each speaker’s remarks inspired change. Vice President Harris’ speech was emotional, thought-provoking and encouraged everyone present to fight for a better future where everyone has equal and equitable rights to care.”  — Kamaria Weatherspoon (UNC Charlotte Premed Branch President)
  • “It was incredible to be surrounded by so many strong and passionate AMWA members! We all share a love of helping people, and protecting reproductive liberties is a key player in how we can do that, now and forever. I look forward to seeing what everyone continues to accomplish. I am so grateful for the opportunity to connect and let our voices be heard alongside some very powerful governmental leaders!” – Natalie Corbin (AMWA Fundraising and Advocacy Student Chair)
  • “As a medical student in North Carolina, I have an obligation to fight for my future patients’ right to choose what’s best for their well-being. AMWA stands with those working to overturn the restrictive laws that are certain to harm the health of our people.” – Rayna Haque (Member)
  • “As a woman myself, and a prospective OBGYN resident and future women’s health physician, I could not be more grateful to have participated in this experience and witness history in the making. Reproductive justice and abortion rights are core principles of patient-centered women’s healthcare that I believe to be essential. I am deeply concerned that some judges may be overstepping their boundaries by ignoring legal, scientific, and authoritative limitations in order to dismantle our reproductive rights.” – Samantha Lahav (Member)
  • “The bond between patients and clinicians must remain pure and undisturbed by political agendas. By prioritizing the well-being and health of the patient, we can ensure that medical care remains at the heart of the matter.” – Samantha Lahav (Member)

AMWA Attendees with Dr. Amy Bryant

AMWA Attendees in the crowd


Vice-President Kamala Harris

Congressman Jeff Jackson

First Gentleman Doug Emhoff & Dr. Roberta Gebhard

Kamaria Weatherspoon & Dr. Amy Bryant


Kamaria Weatherspoon, Ceyana Young, Natalie Corbin


Dr. Roberta Gebhard & Congresswoman Alma Adams

Dr. Roberta Gebhard & Vice President Kamala Harris


AMWA Attendees

Rayna Haque & the crowd with the Vice President

Ceyana Young, Natalie Corbin, Kamaria Weatherspoon

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