Kamala Harris Teams Up with Childhood Sexual Abuse Survivor to Sound Alarm on Potential Trump Win

by Xara Aziz
Left: CNN via YouTube, Right: ABC News via YouTube

Vice President Kamala Harris has teamed up with a survivor of sexual abuse to raise advocacy on what it would mean for America if Trump wins a second presidency.

“If you have a woman in your life that means something to you, her life is at stake,” Hadley Duvall, a woman who suffered sexual abuse as a child from her stepfather, told  MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski on a Morning Joe segment.

“It does not matter if she is 12, 9, 34 … If there is a woman who is in that reproductive age, then, you know, her life is at stake during this election.”

She made the remarks while alongside Vice President Harris, in an exclusive interview Monday, which marks two years since the Supreme Court struck down the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which guaranteed the right to abortion in the United States.

“Let’s be perfectly clear about how we got here. Because the former president [Donald Trump] hand selected three members of the United States Supreme Court with the intention that they would undo the protections of Roe v. Wade, and they did exactly as he intended,” Harris said.

She further condemned what she said were “Trump abortion bans,” including states with six-week abortion bans and those that do not consider incest or rape.  

President Biden and Vice President Harris are focusing on reproductive freedom as a central issue in their campaign, aiming to increase voter turnout and attract independents and even some Republicans.

Duvall, who grew up in Owensboro, Kentucky, was first sexually abused by her stepfather at age 5. At 12, she discovered she was pregnant and miscarried about two weeks later.

“The only thing that allowed me to hold on to hope were the words ‘you have options,’” Duvall recalled when she found out she was pregnant.

The overturning of Roe v. Wade, which led to a near-total abortion ban in Kentucky (one of 12 states with a recent ban with no exceptions for rape or incest), prompted Duvall to share her story on Facebook.

Subsequently, Duvall appeared in an ad last year for Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s re-election campaign, criticizing his opponent, Republican Daniel Cameron, for his strict stance on abortion, particularly the lack of exceptions for rape and incest.

Brzezinski asked Duvall how she eventually told her mom about the abuse.

Duvall explained that she often wanted to tell her mom, a recovering drug addict, but feared it would jeopardize her mom’s sobriety. “That really stuck with me. And, you know, it always made me just want to keep the peace because it was, you know, my family,” Duvall recounted. But one day she texted her mom from school, saying “Don’t let me back out of what I need to tell you tonight.”

“I couldn’t even look at her. And I said, ‘Mom, I don’t know how to say this to you. I’m just gonna blurt it out. And I did. I said, I’ve been sexually abused for 10 years.”

The vice president then chimed in: “When I learned about it, I said to her: ‘you have to come live with us. I called my mother and my mother said, ‘of course she has to come stay with us.’ And she did,” said Harris. 

She continued: “And so at a young age, I decided I wanted to do the work that was about protecting women and children. And I became a prosecutor, and I specialized in in particular child sexual assault. The fact that after the Dobbs decision came down, that laws have been proposed and passed, that, as Hadley has said, make no exceptions even for rape or incest. Think about what these extremists are saying to a survivor of a crime of violence to their body, a survivor of a crime, that is a violation of their body, and to say to that survivor, and you have no right or authority to make a decision about what happens to your body next. That’s immoral.”

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