Harris Targets ‘trump Abortion Bans’ Amidst Arizona’s Rights Battle

Harris Targets ‘trump Abortion Bans’ Amidst Arizona’s Rights Battle

On Monday, during a campaign stop in Las Vegas, Vice President Kamala Harris rallied support for a constitutional amendment to Nevada that would guarantee abortion access. This comes as President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign continues to highlight her as one of their leading voices on abortion rights, an issue they see as galvanizing to voters across the aisle and the nation in advance of an anticipated contentious general election contest.

Harris reiterated in late afternoon remarks her accusation that former President Donald Trump is responsible for the numerous restrictions imposed throughout the United States, which she referred to as “Trump abortion bans.” Harris told a group of organizers and supporters, “There is a direct correlation between what we’ve seen in states like Arizona, what the people of Nevada are fighting for, and who the previous president was.”

“Let’s not forget, Donald Trump made clear his intention to select three members of the United States Supreme Court, so that they would overturn the protections of Roe v. Wade,” according to her. “It was his stated intention and they did as he intended.”

Although Trump has frequently lauded his selection of Supreme Court justices for his role in overturning Roe v. Wade, he maintains that the matter of abortion ought to be state-sanctioned, not federal, with exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the expectant woman.

He has expressed disapproval of certain stringent prohibitions, including the one in Arizona, stating that local legislators should address the matter.

However, Harris stated in Nevada that Trump is now attempting to downplay his past support for a national abortion ban, which he has discussed in private, ABC News reported in February. Harris characterized this as gaslighting, arguing that Trump would sign an abortion ban if re-election to the White House were contingent on Republican support in Congress.

“We are here to say that we’re not going to stand for this — it is not OK, and we are prepared to organize and to take to the streets and to knock on doors and to text folks and to let everyone know their power at this moment to protect the rights of the people of our country,” according to her.

The vice president held his second “reproductive freedoms” campaign event in four days on Monday, following his Friday visit to Tucson, Arizona. This journey was undertaken after the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision last week to uphold legislation from 1864 that prohibits all abortions except when necessary to preserve the life of the mother and subjects physicians who assist in abortion care to criminal penalties. (The prohibition from the 19th century is presently halted but is anticipated to be reinstated in the coming weeks.)

Arizona State Senator Eva Burch, who recently disclosed her abortion experience on the state Senate floor after a desired pregnancy, attended the vice president’s discussion on the abortion landscape in neighboring Arizona at Harris’ invitation. Advocacy suggests that Nevada, which presently permits abortions for twenty-four weeks, could emerge as a viable neighboring option should Arizona transform into a “desert of abortion” where access is effectively prohibited.

On Monday, Biden-Harris campaign personnel and volunteers were present at the location to assist in the collection of signatures for a ballot initiative in Nevada that seeks to safeguard and enhance abortion accessibility. Voters in red and blue states have been galvanized in support of abortion access by initiatives that are comparable and have been implemented in other states.

The proposed text of the Nevada ballot proposition would enshrine abortion access in the state constitution until fetal viability, which occurs at approximately 24 weeks of pregnancy. Unless a health care provider says abortion is essential, the state would be able to enact abortion laws after fetal viability.

Nevada requires more than 102,000 valid signatures by June 26, with at least 25,000 coming from each of the state’s four congressional districts. Nevadans for Reproductive Freedom, the organization collecting signatures, has not stated whether they have met their goal in all districts, but they have collected more than 150,000 signatures and anticipate gaining momentum with Harris pushing the initiative on Monday.

The vice president’s address in Tucson on Friday, during which she used Trump’s name 17 times and referred to abortion prohibitions in 20 other states as “Trump abortion bans,” signaled a “new phase,” according to a campaign staffer.

Trump’s stance on the topic has altered, including his pronouncement last week — which he constantly teased — that abortion should be left to the states. He claimed that this viewpoint would also mitigate Democrats’ focus on it. When questioned on Friday by ABC News’ Rachel Scott, Trump refused to explain his turnaround, despite having previously promised as president to enact a national abortion ban.

“We overturned Roe v. Wade, and we accomplished something no one thought imaginable. We returned it to the states, and the states are doing extremely well, in some cases conservative, in others not conservative,” Trump remarked, adding, “It’s working the way it should.”

Democrats have pounced on Trump’s shift in tone as part of a larger focus on abortion on the campaign trail, where Trump frequently criticizes Biden on high inflation, immigration, and other issues. According to the official, Harris has held more than 80 abortion rights-focused events since the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe in 2022, but this week marked the first of many events organized by Harris on the campaign side that were devoted to abortion rights.

She stated in Tucson that the state court decision sustaining the 19th-century restriction “demonstrated once and for all that overturning Roe was just the opening act.” “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,” she went on to say. “And everyone must recognize who is to blame. Former President Donald Trump did this.

‘Mad as Well,’ Hundreds Rally for Abortion Access in Adjacent Battlegrounds

Abortion Remains a Source of Contention in Arizona’s Politics

On Sunday in Scottsdale, at least 500 people gathered for two hours under the desert sun to raise support for a similar ballot issue in Nevada that would entrench abortion rights in the state constitution in November.

Supporters of all ages lined the sidewalks of Camelback and Scottsdale Roads with colorful signs, driving Old Town Scottsdale into a horn-honking frenzy of support, along with applause and chants: “This is what democracy looks like.”

“This P.F. Chang’s is lit right now with people who are angry — as they should be,” said Hannah Tighe, 35, standing on the commercial strip. “There are families, older women, and women who have used signs from previous protests,” Tighe remarked, describing it as “awful” and “beautiful.”

Tighe said the state Supreme Court’s decision last week to preserve the abortion prohibition enacted before Arizona became statehood left her “angry, shocked, and embarrassed.” “Arizona is a pretty cool, special state, and living here [today] is embarrassing to admit. And all of my friends from other states are concerned; they want to make sure the women here are secure,” she said.

And, while abortion opponents welcomed the reinstated ban—”the compassion of the pro-life movement won in court,” one said—supporters of abortion access were no less loud, and even prominent state Republicans who had labeled themselves “100% pro-life” followed Trump in opposing the decision. Laura Levine, 65, attended the Scottsdale event on Sunday and shared others’ “angry” feelings about the decision and the state Legislature’s failure to move quickly last week, saying she came with her two adult daughters in mind.

“I had an abortion a long time ago after being raped in the parking lot in the snow around Christmas, and I don’t want my daughters to experience anything like that, and it just blows my mind that we’re going so backward in this country,” she went on to say. “You can’t leave it up to the states,” she explained. “You see what the states are doing.”

Chris Love, spokeswoman for Arizona for Abortion Access, the organization collecting signatures for the abortion access ballot question, said the project has gained traction in the last week. “Unfortunately, it took the Supreme Court in 2024 deciding to uphold an 1864 ban to get folks motivated — but they’re mad as hell,” Love said at the event, as horns blared behind her. “For anybody who was kind of sitting on the sidelines, they’re here now.”

While Love stated that organizers have already above the state’s minimum signature threshold in favor of putting the initiative to the ballot, the coalition will continue to gather signatures until the July 3 deadline “so that we stand the perfect chance of getting on the ballot.” “We’re gonna keep collecting signatures until the wheels fall off, quite frankly,” Love went on to say.

Paula Medina, 25, signed the ballot initiative petition and intends to support it in November, but she is unsure if she would vote for President Joe Biden, who is running alongside Harris to restore Roe’s protections, despite the challenges that vote faces in Congress.

“I’m still working through it,” Medina said about her vote, saying that she supported Biden and Harris in 2020 but is dissatisfied with how the Israel-Hamas conflict is being handled. “I know a third-party candidate is gaining popularity, but it’s so unclear. Aside from this, I am not secure in my vote in the November election.

Meanwhile, lawmakers will reconvene in Arizona on Wednesday, but it is unclear whether the Republican-led Legislature has struck an agreement with Democrats on how to resolve the 19th-century restriction.

Arizona House Speaker Ben Toma said in a statement to ABC News last week, in part: “We as an elected body are going to take the time needed to listen to our constituents and carefully consider appropriate actions, rather than rush legislation on a topic of this magnitude without a larger discussion.”


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