Arizona abortion ban: Kamala Harris blames Trump

  • By Holly Honderich
  • in Washington

Image source, Getty Images

Legend, Democrats push to tie strict abortion ban to Donald Trump

Vice President Kamala Harris blasted Donald Trump for abortion restrictions as she held a campaign rally in Tucson, Arizona, on Friday.

The state was pushed to the forefront of America’s abortion battle this week after the state Supreme Court upheld an 1864 law banning nearly all abortions.

“Donald Trump did this,” Ms. Harris said.

His remarks add to recent attacks from the Biden campaign linking Mr. Trump to banning abortion nationwide.

Mr. Trump campaigned in 2016 to nominate judges who would overturn Roe v Wade. He named three conservatives to the court, all of whom voted to overturn Roe in June 2022 and repeal the nation’s right to abortion.

“We all need to understand who is to blame,” Ms Harris said on Friday. “Donald Trump is the architect of this health crisis.”

She claimed that “a second Trump term would be even worse… he would sign a national ban on abortion.”

A Trump campaign spokesperson denied supporting a national ban, saying he “could not have been clearer. These are decisions that are up to the citizens of each state.”

The 160-year-old Arizona law gave Ms. Harris and her Democratic colleagues another chance to focus their 2024 election efforts on abortion, a strategy that has proven effective in local elections and states.

Mr. Trump has sought to distance himself from Arizona’s ban, calling on the state’s politicians to repeal the law.

Speaking from his West Palm Beach home Friday afternoon, Trump said the 1864 law was “going to be changed by the government.”

But he also took credit for “breaking” Roe. “We did something that no one thought was possible, we gave it back to the states, and the states are working very brilliantly,” he said.

“It works as expected,” he said.

Kari Lake, the presumptive Republican nominee for an open Arizona Senate seat and a close ally of Mr. Trump, has also publicly renounced the law and on Thursday called the ban “irrelevant” to voters in the state.

Ms Lake had previously welcomed the ban, calling it “great law”.

It is still unclear when and how the 1864 ban will be enforced.

The Arizona Supreme Court stayed the ruling for at least 14 days while a lower court considers further arguments about the law’s constitutionality.

The state’s Democratic Attorney General, Kris Mayes, said she would not prosecute anyone who performs or obtains abortions. Early attempts by Democrats to repeal the law in the state legislature were thwarted by senior Republicans.

Arizona voters could also have a chance to overturn the law themselves through a ballot initiative that, if passed in November, would protect the right to abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Pro-choice activists in the state say they have already reached the threshold of signatures required to put the question to voters this fall.

Video caption, Hear from Arizonans on both sides of the abortion debate

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