PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Vice President Kamala Harris met with Pennsylvania legislators Saturday to discuss reproductive rights in the commonwealth following the overturning of Roe V. Wade.
Harris met with 40 local and state lawmakers at the Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters in the Spring Garden section of Philadelphia. There, she said protecting abortion rights is a top priority in the next election.
"Pennsylvania has so much at stake," said Harris. She and the lawmakers discussed where the issue of reproductive healthcare stands both locally and nationally after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last month.
"That alone is so deeply harmful to our nation that prides itself on being a defender of freedom," said Harris.
On the federal level, House Democrats passed two bills Friday that would codify Roe V. Wade and protect women who travel across state lines for abortions. Those bills are likely to fail in the Senate.
"Everyone at this table is ready to restore our human rights, our rights to protect and enhance the rights of women and girls to privacy, to abortion care, to contraception," said Representative Mary Gary Scanlon.
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, Republicans advanced a proposed constitutional amendment last week that say an abortion is not a right. That amendment could be on the ballot as soon as next year.
Senate Republicans responded to the meeting and the proposed amendment in a statement.
"It's important for Pennsylvanians to have conversations on topics like abortion as the people should decide what is best for them not the courts. It is equally important to be informed on the topic and not be misled by political jockeying. There is no ban on abortion in Pennsylvania as there is no right to an abortion outlined in our state's constitution. The people of Pennsylvania have already decided through the legislative process that an abortion is allowed up to 24 weeks. Pennsylvanians, and the people of Pennsylvania not the courts now need to decide if taxpayers should be responsible for paying for abortions." said Erica Clayton Wright, Spokesperson Senate Republican Caucus.
Abortions are still legal in Pennsylvania. Lawmakers who joined Vice President Harris are vowing to protect that right for citizens, "who should have a right to make the most intimate decision that one could make," said Harris.
Vice President Harris will hold a similar event in Atlantic City on Monday where she'll discuss reproductive rights with New Jersey legislators.