Kamala Harris hammers Trump on abortion in Arizona visit

Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday went after former President Donald Trump in a visit to Arizona highlighting reproductive rights just days after the state’s Supreme Court ruled that an 1864 near-total abortion ban is enforceable.

Harris slammed Trump over his record and rhetoric on abortion, calling him the “architect of this healthcare crisis,” as the court ruling brings the vital swing state to the forefront of abortion politics.

“President Donald Trump hand-picked three members of the United States Supreme Court because he intended for them to overturn Roe, and as he intended they did,” she said in Tucson.

Harris also pointed to Trump’s previous comments about how women who seek abortions should be punished.

“Joe Biden and I trust women to know what is in their own best interest,” the vice president said. “And women trust all of us, to fight to protect their most fundamental freedoms. So Arizona, this November, up and down the ballot, reproductive freedom is at stake and you have the power to protect it with your vote.”

Harris previously blamed Trump for the court’s ruling.

“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 said in a statement Tuesday. “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.”

On Friday, she spoke alongside state and local officials, including Rep. Ruben Gallego, who is running for the Senate.

Harris has taken a lead role in the administration’s approach to reproductive rights, traveling across the country during her “Fight for Reproductive Freedoms” tour, which had stops in Wisconsin, Arizona, Michigan, Georgia and other critical swing states. In March, she became, it is believed, the first president or vice president to visit a clinic that provides abortion services.

Harris and President Joe Biden frequently highlight protecting abortion access as a centerpiece of their re-election campaign, pointing to Trump’s bragging about being able to “kill” Roe v. Wade through his Supreme Court nominations.

During a visit to Phoenix last month, Harris discussed abortion, which has proven to be a particularly mobilizing issue for Democrats.

Since the Arizona Supreme Court decision, the Biden campaign and the Democratic National Committee have highlighted Trump’s abortion politics in a series of new advertisements. On Thursday, the Biden campaign launched a seven-figure ad buy in Arizona about reproductive rights. The DNC also announced a new Arizona billboard campaign slamming Trump’s abortion position.

“Abortion is banned in Arizona thanks to Donald Trump,” the billboard design says. “He won’t stop until it’s banned nationwide. #TrumpsAbortionBan.”

Biden narrowly won Arizona in 2020 with just over 10,000 more votes than Trump, flipping the state blue.

And Arizonans appear to be widely in favor of abortion rights. An NBC News 2022 midterm exit poll found that 62% of Arizona voters said abortion should be legal in all or most cases.

But Trump has indicated he may be taking a softer stance on abortion bans ahead of the 2024 election, when the question of abortion access will be on the ballot in several states. He said Wednesday that the Arizona Supreme Court went too far in its ruling, and he said Monday that abortion decisions should be left to the states.

Abortion access has become a potent political issue after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization allowed abortion laws to be implemented at the state level. Even in red-leaning states like Ohio, Kansas and Kentucky, voters backed the pro-abortion-rights position when it was put to votes.

Florida, Maryland and New York will have abortion-related measures on the ballot in November, and proposed measures in eight more states, including Arizona, are seeking ballot status. The Biden campaign has said it now sees Florida as “winnable” in November, pointing to how previous elections have shown that “protecting abortion rights is mobilizing a diverse and growing segment of voters to help buoy Democrats up and down the ballot.”

Biden has repeatedly said he aims to make the abortion protections afforded by Roe the law of the land. However, he would face a slew of challenges to usher national legislation through Congress.

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