Biden blasts Arizona Supreme Court abortion ruling

President Joe Biden condemned the Arizona Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday that upheld an 1864 law banning most abortions in the state.

The law only makes exceptions for abortions in which the mother faces immediate life-threatening conditions while mandating a prison sentence of between two and five years for a healthcare provider who performs the procedure unlawfully.

“Millions of Arizonans will soon live under an even more extreme and dangerous abortion ban, which fails to protect women even when their health is at risk or in tragic cases of rape or incest,” Biden said in a statement soon after the ruling was announced.

Biden has long considered himself a champion of “women’s right to choose” on the topic of abortion, which he reiterated in his statement.

“This cruel ban was first enacted in 1864 — more than 150 years ago, before Arizona was even a state and well before women had secured the right to vote,” he continued. “This ruling is a result of the extreme agenda of Republican elected officials who are committed to ripping away women’s freedom.”

Vice President Kamala Harris laid the full blame of the Arizona ruling on former President Donald Trump in a statement Tuesday afternoon. “Arizona just rolled back the clock to a time before women could vote — and, by his own admission, there’s one person responsible: Donald Trump,” Harris said.

“This even more extreme and dangerous ban criminalizes almost all abortion care in the state and puts women’s lives at risk. It provides no exceptions for rape, incest, or health,” Harris continued. “It’s a reality because of Donald Trump, who brags about being ‘proudly the person responsible’ for overturning Roe v. Wade, and made it possible for states to enforce cruel bans.”

The Arizona Supreme Court ruling comes as Arizona for Abortion Access, a coalition of reproductive rights organizations, announced last week it had secured more than 384,000 valid signatures needed to get abortion on the ballot in November.

Biden’s reelection campaign spent much of Monday slamming Trump for claiming states should decide on abortion and dodging where he stands on a federal abortion ban.

The campaign released a 60-ad “Willow’s Box” ad blaming Trump for a Texas woman nearly dying after she was unable to receive an abortion as she suffered a miscarriage.

Campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez released a memo arguing Trump would ban abortion nationwide.

“Donald Trump brags about being the most anti-abortion president in American history, and he’s right. Trump vowed to put ‘pro-life justices on the court,’ and he did,” Rodriguez wrote. “The aftermath that has followed Trump’s actions has been devastating: women’s lives put at risk, doctors threatened for doing their job, attacks on birth control, and threats to IVF fertility treatment — it is a dark preview of what Trump and his Project 2025 extremists will inflict on America.”

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In the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in June 2022, Democrats mobilized supporters at the ballot box during the 2022 midterm elections. As Biden faces a tough reelection battle against Trump, Democrats are hoping the issue can save them once again.

“Vice President Harris and I stand with the vast majority of Americans who support a woman’s right to choose,” Biden concluded his statement. “We will continue to fight to protect reproductive rights and call on Congress to pass a law restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade for women in every state.”

Gabrielle M. Etzel contributed to this story.

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