Harris casts blame for Arizona abortion ban: ‘Trump did this’

Vice President Kamala Harris lashed out at former President Donald Trump and pledged to restore Roe v. Wade during an abortion-focused speech in Arizona.

“This fight is about freedom,” Harris said. “And the freedom that is fundamental to the promise of America. … That includes the freedom to make decisions about one’s own body and not have the government telling people what to do.”

Harris has become the Biden administration‘s top spokesperson on the issue of abortion since the Supreme Court in 2022 overturned Roe, the court’s five-decade-old decision that granted abortion rights.

Friday’s speech in Tucson was announced within hours of an Arizona Supreme Court decision that reinstated an 1864 law banning nearly all abortions.

“They have turned back the clock to the 1800s to take away a woman’s most fundamental right,” Harris said, “the right to make decisions about her own body.”

Abortion was a key plank of Democratic midterm messaging and will be so in the general election as well.

Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) traveled with Harris aboard Air Force Two from Washington, D.C., to Arizona and promised that abortion would be a big part of his Senate campaign.

“Trump did this,” he told reporters en route to the speech. “We wouldn’t be having this issue at all if he didn’t appoint those three judges that ended up overturning Roe v. Wade. And you have [GOP Senate candidate] Kari Lake, who was a cheerleader for this territorial law.”

Harris hammered that theme home too: “Former President Donald Trump did this,” she said.

Trump has tried to distance himself from the anti-abortion movement in recent weeks and has also called for the 1864 law to be overturned.

“The Governor and the Arizona Legislature must use HEART, COMMON SENSE, and ACT IMMEDIATELY, to remedy what has happened,” he posted on Truth Social. “Remember, it is now up to the States and the Good Will of those that represent THE PEOPLE.”

He argues that Democrats are abortion extremists who support the controversial practice “up to the moment of birth.” He is calling for exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother. Other Republicans in Arizona also say the ruling went too far.

“Today’s ruling is a disaster for women and providers,” Rep. Juan Ciscomani (R-AZ) said in a statement on Tuesday. “In Arizona, our 15-week law protected the rights of women and new life. It respected women and the difficult decision of ending a pregnancy — one I will never personally experience and won’t pretend to understand.”

But Harris and her party say it is too late for Trump to change his stripes on abortion policy.

“Arizona’s abortion ban — and every abortion ban across the country — is the direct result of Trump overturning Roe,” Biden campaign spokeswoman Sarafina Chitika said in a statement released earlier on Friday. “Nothing he says can undo the chaos and cruelty his actions have inflicted on women across America.”

Harris predicted that Trump would sign a national abortion ban into law if elected, even though he has said he will not. Some GOP leaders, notably Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), have pushed for a national restriction after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

Democrats feel that abortion is a winning issue that could propel them to victory in Arizona, other swing states, and even solidly red Florida.

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Harris, cheered on by a supportive crowd, predicted that will happen.

“This is 2024, not the 1800s, and we’re not going back,” she said, promising that President Joe Biden would sign a law restoring Roe if reelected. “It is your power that will send Joe Biden and me back to the White House.”

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