Kamala Harris bashes Donald Trump over abortion bans: "Architect of crisis"

Tucson, Arizona - Days after Arizona became the latest state to declare almost all abortions illegal, Vice President Kamala Harris told a rally the ex-president was the architect of the ban, and warned worse was to come if he wins the White House.

Vice President Kamala Harris called ex-president Donald Trump the "architect" of abortion bans spreading from state to state in the US.
Vice President Kamala Harris called ex-president Donald Trump the "architect" of abortion bans spreading from state to state in the US.  © Frederic J. BROWN / AFP

"Here's what a second Trump term looks like: more bans, more suffering, and less freedom," Harris told supporters in Tucson.

"Just like he did in Arizona, he basically wants to take America back to the 1800s."

"But we are not going to let that happen because here's the deal: This is 2024, not the 1800s. And we're not going back."

PETA takes aim at Trump with attempt to recruit Stormy Daniels for new ad
Donald Trump PETA takes aim at Trump with attempt to recruit Stormy Daniels for new ad

Harris was in the battleground southwestern state just days after its right-wing supreme court rolled back reproductive rights to the Civil War era, saying an 1864 ban on abortion was valid.

The ruling, which rendered almost all pregnancy terminations illegal with no exceptions for rape or incest, made Arizona the latest state to severely limit the procedure.

It's the latest fall out from the 2022 US Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v Wade, the decades-old federal guarantee of abortion rights.

While state-level bans are popular with the evangelical wing of the Republican Party and with some of their elected representatives, a majority of the electorate disapproves and has voted to enshrine rights even in conservative states like Kansas.

Harris puts blame squarely on Trump

Trump has been awkwardly juggling his fear of alienating his anti-abortion supporters with an opposition to total bans on the procedure.
Trump has been awkwardly juggling his fear of alienating his anti-abortion supporters with an opposition to total bans on the procedure.  © REUTERS

Harris's speech was part of a Democratic strategy to pin the bans on Trump, as they seek to drive support for his November opponent, Joe Biden.

In the wake of the Arizona court ruling this week, the party is splashing a huge sum of money on an advertising campaign in the must-win state, aimed at key Democratic target groups: young people, women, and Latino voters.

They hope that this will help drive turnout and support for Biden, even as many polls show the 81-year-old trailing his predecessor.

Cori Bush issues defiant response to Israel lobby spending push: "Not for sale"
Politicians Cori Bush issues defiant response to Israel lobby spending push: "Not for sale"

"Overturning Roe was just the opening act of a larger strategy to take women's rights and freedoms," said Harris.

"Donald Trump hand-picked three members of the United States Supreme Court because he intended for them to overturn Roe, and as he intended they did."

"And now because of Donald Trump, more than 20 states in our nation have bans."

"Donald Trump is the architect of this health care crisis."

Trump urges Arizona lawmakers to overturn ban "immediately"

Trump is on the back foot over the issue, stuck between crowing about his role in removing the nationwide right to abortion and urging states not to implement the kind of bans that are the obvious natural result.

On Friday, he again proudly boasted of his achievement, and insisted state-level laws were working.

"We don't need it any longer because we broke Roe v Wade," he told reporters when asked if he would sign a national ban on abortion. "We gave it back to the states and...(it's) working the way it’s supposed to."

But writing on his website earlier in the day, he urged Arizona to change its 160-year-old law.

"The Governor and the Arizona Legislature must use HEART, COMMON SENSE, and ACT IMMEDIATELY, to remedy what has happened," he wrote, days after Arizona Republicans blocked an effort by Democrats to repeal the ban.

"Remember, it is now up to the States and the Good Will of those that represent THE PEOPLE. We must ideally have the three Exceptions for Rape, Incest, and Life of the Mother."

Cover photo: Collage: Frederic J. Brown / AFP & REUTERS

More on Kamala Harris: