Vice President Harris Accuses Trump of Influencing Arizona’s Abortion Ban

Vice President Harris Accuses Trump of Influencing Arizona’s Abortion Ban

Vice President Kamala Harris blames former President Donald Trump for the resuscitation of Arizona’s 160-year-old abortion prohibition, accusing him of “gaslighting” on the matter.

The Arizona Supreme Court declared on Tuesday that a near-total abortion ban passed in 1864, decades before Arizona became a state, can be enforced. The 2022 United States Supreme Court judgment overturning Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that established abortion as a constitutional right, destroyed federal abortion rights.

Trump, who had previously expressed concern that a strong anti-abortion stance would be a liability for himself and other Republicans in the November elections, announced one day before the Arizona ruling that he would not support any federal abortion ban, stating that “whatever [states] decide must be the law of the land.”

The former president has since attempted to distance himself from his previous persona as a champion of the “pro-life” movement, claiming earlier this week that Arizona “went too far” in reviving the archaic law and that overturning Roe, for which he has repeatedly taken credit, was solely about “states’ rights.”

During a campaign stop in Tucson on Friday, Harris, who is expected to face Trump and his eventual running mate, Joe Biden, in November, argued that the former president was responsible for the Arizona law and other “Trump abortion bans,” calling the Roe reversal “the opening act of a larger strategy to take women’s rights and freedoms.”

“We must all understand who is to blame,” Harris stated. “The former president, Donald Trump, did this. During his 2016 campaign, Donald Trump stated that women should be punished for seeking abortions… As President, Donald Trump handpicked three Supreme Court justices intending to overturn Roe.

“And now, because of Donald Trump, more than 20 states in our nation have bans,” she went on to say. “One-third of our country’s women of reproductive age reside in a state where Trump has banned abortion… Now Trump wants us to believe he won’t sign a nationwide ban? “Enough of the gaslighting.”

In response to Newsweek’s request for comment on Harris’ statements, Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung wrote in an email: “President Trump could not have been clearer. These decisions should be left to the states to ‘decide by vote or legislation or possibly both.'” During a joint press conference with House Speaker Mike Johnson on Friday, Trump boasted about his part in overturning Roe after a reporter questioned “why should Americans trust” his pledge not to sign a national ban, which he had previously promised to do as president in 2018.

“Because we don’t need it [a national ban] any longer,” Trump said. “Because we overturned Roe v. Wade and done something no one thought imaginable. We returned it to the States. And the states are doing quite well.” Trump then incorrectly claimed that all “real legal scholars” wanted abortion rights to “go back to the states,” regardless of whether they were “Democrat, Republican, liberal [or] conservative.”

“You know, what we did was give it back to the states,” he said. “And the states are currently working their way through it. To be honest, you have some pretty lovely harmonies.” On Wednesday, Trump insisted that Democratic Arizona Governor Katie Hobbs “and everybody else” would immediately take steps to put the 1864 legislation “back to within reason,” describing his “states’ rights” attitude as “a perfect system.”

Later that day, Republican Arizona lawmakers thwarted Democrats’ initial attempt to remove the prohibition in the state House.

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