May 2, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Kamala Harris says Trump to blame for Supreme Court abortion ruling

Kamala Harris speaks about Florida’s new 6-week abortion ban during an event at the Prime Osborn Convention Center on May 01, 2024 in Jacksonville, Florida

Kamala Harris at an event on May 1 in Jacksonville, Fla. Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

It's been two years since a draft ruling of the Supreme Court's intent to overturn Roe v. Wade was leaked, and Vice President Kamala Harris used the timing on Thursday to lay blame for the decision's impacts squarely at former President Trump's feet.

Why it matters: The court overturned Roe v. Wade a month after the leak predicted the blow to abortion access across the country, and since then, Democrats have been hoping the issue will drive voters to the polls in November.

State of play: Since the leak, "extremists have proposed and passed laws to criminalize doctors and punish women, laws that make no exception even for rape and incest," Harris said in a video message.

  • "Be clear: Donald Trump did this," Harris added, pointing to Trump's role in appointing three conservative justices to the court.
  • "If he gets a chance, Donald Trump will sign a national abortion ban," Harris said.

The big picture: This isn't the first time Harris — who has made abortion rights one of her focuses as vice president — directly called Trump out for his role in restricting abortion rights.

  • At a speech in Jacksonville, Florida, on Wednesday, Harris said Trump was responsible for a "full-on assault, state by state, on reproductive freedom."

Catch up quick: While running for president in 2016, Trump vowed to appoint Supreme Court justices to overturn Roe v. Wade and has repeatedly bragged about his role in ending federal protections for abortion.

Yes, but: He also declined to endorse a national abortion ban, despite earlier hints that he would do so.

  • In an interview with TIME published Tuesday, Trump said it was up to states whether they decide to monitor women's pregnancies or prosecute women for getting abortions.
  • Harris referred to Trump's claims that he wouldn't sign a national abortion ban as "gaslighting" last month.

Between the lines: Since the Dobbs ruling, abortion rights have proven to be a winning issue for Democrats, even in Republican states.

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