Kamala Harris blames Trump for abortion bans during Arizona visit

Vice President Kamala Harris is in Tucson, Arizona, on Friday to cast former President Donald Trump as the architect of the restrictive abortion bans emerging nationwide in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision striking down the federal right to an abortion.

Harris is making her second trip this year to the battleground state, days after the state Supreme Court upheld an 1864 law that bans nearly all abortions.

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

She called Trump “the architect of this health care crisis.”

“Because of Donald Trump, more than 20 states in our nation have bans,” Harris said. “Now, because of Donald Trump, one in three women of reproductive age in our country live in a state that has a Trump abortion ban.”

She warned that a second Trump term would bring more bans.

“We all know if Donald Trump gets the chance, he will sign a national abortion ban, and how do we know? Just look at his record,” she said. “Just look at the facts. Y’all know I’m a former prosecutor.”

Trump has not endorsed a national ban and earlier this week said the question should be left to the states. “Whatever they decide must be the law of the land,” he said.

Friday’s event is a campaign rally, which allowed Harris to openly attack Trump and Republicans more than she has during other battleground state visits where she has appeared as part of her official White House duties. 

Since Tuesday’s ruling, Arizona has been at the forefront of national abortion politics. Republicans and Democrats alike are keenly aware that the issue could be a determining factor in who wins Arizona this fall and, potentially, the presidency. 

Arizona is likely to have a constitutional amendment on abortion rights on the ballot in November. Every ballot measure to protect abortion access since Roe was struck down has been successful, even in heavily Republican states. 

After the Arizona ruling, Trump told reporters the state Supreme Court ruling went too far: “Yeah, they did, and I think it’ll be straightened out.”

Arizona also has a pivotal Senate race this fall to fill the seat that will be left open by independent Sen. Kyrsten Sinema’s retirement. Republican hopeful Kari Lake now says she supports repealing the state’s 1864 abortion ban, though two years ago she supported it. On Thursday, she released a video saying the state high court’s ruling “is out of line with where people of this state are.”

Democratic Rep. Ruben Gallego, who is also running for Sinema’s seat, has accused Lake of lying and taking a more moderate stance for the sake of the November elections.  

In 2020, President Biden won Arizona by a very narrow margin, receiving just 10,457 more votes than Trump. The Biden team has since placed a heavy emphasis on  abortion rights. In March, Harris also visited Phoenix as part of her “fight for Reproductive Freedoms” tour. 

On Friday, Harris was accompanied by Gallego and other state officials and abortion rights advocates. 

Caitlin Huey-Burns contributed to this report.

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