Kamala Harris On Near-Total Arizona Abortion Ban: 'Donald Trump Did This'

The vice president hosted a campaign event in Tucson following the Arizona Supreme Court's ruling this week that allows an 1864 abortion ban to go into effect.

Vice President Kamala Harris hosted a campaign event in Arizona on Friday following the state Supreme Court’s recent ruling that an 1864 near-total abortion ban can go into effect.

“Here in Arizona, they have turned the back the clock to the 1800s to take away a woman’s most fundamental right, the right to make decisions over her own body,” Harris told a crowd in Tucson. “The overturning of Roe was, without any question, a seismic event. And this ban here in Arizona is one of the biggest aftershocks yet.”

The near-total ban won’t go into effect until 45 days after the Arizona Supreme Court issues its formal ruling.

The Arizona high court greenlit the reinstatement of the archaic abortion law — which predates Arizona’s statehood — earlier this week. It bans nearly all abortions except for when the pregnant person’s life is at risk. It also carries a felony punishment of two to five years in prison for abortion providers.

Harris emphasized how important the outcome of the 2024 election will be for reproductive rights, adding that former President Donald Trump will sign a national abortion ban if reelected in the fall.

“We all must understand who is to blame. Former President Donald Trump did this,” Harris said. “Donald Trump is the architect of this health care crisis. And that is not a fact, by the way, that he hides. In fact, he brags about it.”

Harris warned that if reelected, Trump could choose to enforce the Comstock Act, an 1873 law that states it’s illegal to send “obscene” materials in the mail including items that relate to sexual health and contraception. Anti-choice conservative groups have laid out a plan to enforce the zombie law and create a backdoor national abortion ban.

“Just like what he did in Arizona, he basically wants to take America back to the 1800s,” Harris said. “But we are not going to let that happen.”

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks on reproductive freedom in Tucson, Arizona, on April 12, 2024.
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks on reproductive freedom in Tucson, Arizona, on April 12, 2024.
FREDERIC J. BROWN via Getty Images

Trump has continually boasted about his role in appointing the three Supreme Court justices who were critical in repealing Roe v. Wade. The presumptive GOP presidential nominee said this week that he believes abortion rights should be left to the states, but later said the Arizona ruling went too far.

He also claimed he would not sign a national abortion ban if he gets to the White House, though past reporting suggests he has at least considered implementing a 15- or 16-week ban. Trump, who has aligned himself with extreme anti-abortion groups, could still enact the Comstock Act or direct the Food and Drug Administration to roll back access to abortion pills.

“What has happened here in Arizona is a new inflection point,” the vice president said. “It has demonstrated once and for all that overturning Roe was just the opening act of a larger strategy to take women’s rights and freedoms — part of a full on attack, state by state, on reproductive freedom.”

Harris was joined by Arizona Rep. Ruben Gallego (D), Secretary of State Adrian Fontes and state Sen. Eva Burch (D), as well as other lawmakers and abortion rights advocates.

Gallego is set to face off with former news anchor Kari Lake for a Senate seat this fall after Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, an independent, announced her retirement. Lake, the Republican nominee for Arizona governor in 2022, is working overtime to walk back her past statements on abortion. During a GOP debate that year, Lake had suggested she would support reviving the 1864 law. She has also said several times that she believes life begins at conception and that abortion pills should be illegal.

But just this week, Lake released a campaign video denouncing the Arizona near-total abortion ban. Her video, in which she emphasizes that she wants to “make sure every woman who finds herself pregnant has more choices,” is a sharp departure from her past statements.

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