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News / Nation & World

Dems blame Trump for worsening health care

Anniversary of Roe’s fall used to address issues facing women

By Associated Press
Published: June 24, 2024, 5:10pm
2 Photos
Abortion rights activists and Women&rsquo;s March leaders protest as part of a national day of strike actions Monday outside the Supreme Court in Washington.
Abortion rights activists and Women’s March leaders protest as part of a national day of strike actions Monday outside the Supreme Court in Washington. (alex brandon/Associated Press) Photo Gallery

WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris is using the second anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade to argue that Donald Trump is “guilty” of rolling back women’s freedoms and setting off a nationwide health care crisis.

Harris said Monday that Trump “intended” for his three Supreme Court picks to overturn Roe. “It was premeditated,” she said. “Trump has not denied, much less shown remorse, for his actions.”

The vice president, in a nod to her background as a California prosecutor, added, “In the case of the stealing of reproductive freedom from the women of America, Donald Trump is guilty.”

While President Joe Biden is sequestered at Camp David preparing for this week’s presidential debate with presumptive Republican nominee Trump, the vice president is headlining events on the anniversary of the high court decision, which Democrats hope will be a critical galvanizer for them in the election. She headed to Arizona for a second reproductive rights event later Monday.

The campaign’s push over the past week has featured first lady Jill Biden and a number of women who were motivated to join the 2024 effort after they suffered — or nearly died — in the face of restrictive abortion laws that were, in some cases, applied even though they never intended to end their pregnancies.

The overturning of federal protections has meant the issue is now mostly in the hands of state legislatures, where the laws wildly vary. At least 25 million women now live in states with abortion restrictions and are facing increasingly dire consequences. And it’s changing how and where doctors are choosing to practice medicine.

Trump has repeatedly taken credit for the overturning of a federally guaranteed right to abortion. He nominated three of the Supreme Court justices who voted to overturn Roe v. Wade but has since resisted supporting a national abortion ban.

Nearly two-thirds of Americans said abortion should be legal in at least some cases, according to an AP-NORC poll conducted last summer. The survey also found that 6 in 10 U.S. adults thought Congress should pass a law guaranteeing access to legal abortion nationwide.

Support for legal abortion was particularly high in situations where the pregnant individual’s own health was seriously endangered by the pregnancy. In the poll, more than 8 in 10 Americans said an abortion under those circumstances should be permitted in their state. Support for legal abortion early in pregnancy was also high, with about three-quarters saying it should be allowed in their state at that point.

Other Democratic candidates are also focusing their campaigns around reproductive rights and believe it will motivate voters in key swing states.

“The overturning of Roe has been devastating for women across the country,” said Jennifer Klein, a White House adviser on reproductive health.