Vice President Kamala Harris' omission of the right to "life" when quoting the Declaration of Independence Sunday has drawn the ire of pro-life activists, with one progressive pro-life leader calling her a "traitor" to the Democratic Party's values.
During a speech Sunday commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade abortion ruling, the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide, Harris cited the Declaration of Independence, the 1776 document signed by the Continental Congress as the 13 colonies severed their ties to Great Britain.
The court overturned Roe this summer in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, allowing states to once again enact more stringent abortion restrictions or outlaw the practice entirely.
"We collectively believe and know America is a promise. … It is a promise of freedom and liberty, not just some but for all. We are each endowed with the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness," Harris said.
The document's original text reads: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Katie Glenn, state policy director for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, told The Christian Post that the omission of "life" seemed "intentional" considering the administration's stance on abortion.
"Unfortunately, this administration has made it a point to say that the only policy that they'll support is the most extreme abortion on demand agenda," Glenn said, noting that Harris appears to have held up "liberty" and "pursuit of happiness" to justify an "unfettered right to abortion."
Glenn noted that these rights don't exist "if you don't make it down the birth canal."
"Liberty and pursuit of happiness and property and any number of other rights that our founders described as important are out of reach," Glenn said.
Terrisa Bukovinac, the founder and executive director of Progressive Anti-Abortion Uprising, believes "there are few people in Washington more complicit in the mass murder of the unborn than Kamala Harris."
"She is a traitor to our party and to the values of non-violence and non-discrimination," the pro-life atheist told CP. "We will continue to fight for a future where her treachery is remembered with contempt and shame."
Glenn acknowledged that Harris' speech might seem "discouraging" for pro-life Democrats, highlighting how "extreme" the party has become on abortion in a "relatively short amount of time." Public opinion polls have shown abortion restrictions are favored by many Democrats.
According to a recently released Marist poll conducted on behalf of the Knights of Columbus, nearly half of the survey's Democratic respondents supported abortion restrictions after the first trimester.
While 32% of Democrats participating in the survey believed "abortion should be available to a woman any time she wants one during her entire pregnancy," the rest favored restrictions. Nineteen percent stated that "abortion should be allowed only during the first six months of a pregnancy," and 49% said there should be greater limits on abortion access.
"If pro-life Democrats are looking at the polling, they should feel that they can speak into this issue honestly and step away from their party and certainly at the state level," Glenn said.
As The Christian Post reported, the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives passed two pro-life measures earlier this month, with one bill requiring abortion providers to care for infants born alive after an abortion. Another bill condemned the wave of violence and vandalism against pro-life pregnancy resource centers and churches.
The measures passed mostly among party lines, with only one Democrat, Rep. Henry Cuellar of Texas, voting in favor of the bill mandating medical care for infants who survive abortions. Three Democrats — Vicente Gonzael of Texas, Chrissy Houlahan of Pennsylvania and Marie Perez of Washington — voted in favor of the resolution condemning violence against pro-life groups.