Vice President Harris on Monday torched Republicans over their abortion views and directly tied former President Trump — her and President Biden’s likely 2024 opponent — to the end of Roe v. Wade.
Harris kicked off a “Fight for Reproductive Freedoms” tour that coincided with the 51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, where she excoriated Republicans who have pushed to restrict abortion access and placed the blame at the feet of Trump, the likely GOP presidential nominee.
“The former president hand-picked three Supreme Court justices because he intended for them to overturn Roe. He intended for them to take your freedoms, and it is a decision he brags about,” Harris said in Wisconsin, citing Trump’s comments at a Fox News town hall earlier this month in which he said he was “proud” to have ended Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision that allowed abortion on the federal level.
“Proud that women across our nation are suffering? Proud that women have been robbed of a fundamental freedom? Proud that doctors could be thrown in prison for caring for their patients? That young women today have fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers? How dare he,” Harris said.
Harris traveled to Wisconsin, a key battleground state, as the Biden campaign seeks to energize voters on abortion rights. The campaign released an ad on Sunday highlighting the story of an OB-GYN who had to leave Texas for an abortion, and Biden and Harris are set to hold a rally in Virginia on Tuesday focused on abortion.
The vice president has taken on a leading role at the White House on reproductive rights following the Supreme Court’s ruling that reversed Roe. She has met with dozens of activists, health care providers and individuals directly affected by abortion bans, and she has repeatedly connected the fight over abortion rights to the broader fight for personal freedoms.
“In America, freedom is not to be given. It is not to be bestowed. It is ours by right,” Harris said. “And that includes the freedom to make decisions about one’s own body. Not the government telling you what to do.”
She described meeting with women who have had miscarriages because they were refused care or who were turned away because providers were worried about criminal consequences. She noted an “untold number of women are silently suffering.”
In the roughly 19 months since the Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, Republican-led legislatures have enacted restrictions on abortion access and punishments for doctors who perform the procedure.
In Wisconsin, which Biden won by roughly 20,000 votes in 2020, Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is promising to fight a GOP supermajority Legislature that just introduced a 14-week abortion ban.
Abortion is expected to be one of the defining issues of the 2024 general election cycle, and the Biden campaign has made clear it plans to constantly remind voters of Trump’s role in ending Roe v. Wade, and the support among many Republicans for passing a national abortion ban.
The issue has proven to be a galvanizing force for Democrats, with the party retaining control of the Senate, winning the Kentucky gubernatorial election, winning both chambers in the Virginia legislative elections and passing pro-abortion ballot referendums in Kansas and Ohio in the aftermath of the 2022 Supreme Court decision.
Trump, who is poised to take on President Biden in November in a rematch of 2020, has blamed Republicans’ handling of abortion for the party’s electoral struggles. The former president has said he supports exceptions to allow for abortions in cases of rape, incest and to protect the life of the mother.
But Trump has repeatedly dodged when asked whether he would sign a national abortion ban if it came to his desk.