Biden pounces on 'extreme' Arizona abortion ruling

 April 11, 2024

The Biden campaign is seizing on a Arizona Supreme Court ruling that revived a 150-year-old abortion ban to paint former President Donald Trump as a danger to women's rights.

"This ruling is a result of the extreme agenda of Republican elected officials who are committed to ripping away women’s freedom," Biden said in a statement.

The ruling jolted the presidential campaign only one day after Trump said abortion should be left to individual states to decide.

Abortion ruling jolts 2024 race

The Arizona ban applies to virtually all abortions except to save the life of the mother, and it could theoretically result in jail time for doctors.

“In light of this Opinion, physicians are now on notice that all abortions, except those necessary to save a woman’s life, are illegal,” the court wrote.

The state's Democratic attorney general has already said she won't honor the ban, which may take months to take effect under an agreement in a separate case.

Still, the ban is seen as a political boon for Democrats, who are eager to keep abortion on the agenda this November. Biden wants to remind voters that Trump was responsible for overturning Roe v. Wade, and Trump has not been shy about taking the credit.

Vice President Kamala Harris will travel to Arizona Friday to stir the pot. Harris has been making more regular campaign appearances as Biden's de facto abortion spokesperson.

"Arizona just rolled back the clock to a time before women could vote – and, by his own admission, there's one person responsible: Donald Trump," Harris said in a statement on Tuesday.

Trump weighs in

The all-Republican Arizona Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the 1864 ban is "enforceable" without a federal right to abortion, which was repealed by the U.S. Supreme Court after it moved rightward under President Trump.

Arizona's ruling blindsided Republicans, with the Biden campaign arguing it showed the consequences of Trump's "states' rights" position.

But Trump criticized Arizona's ruling as too extreme when asked about it Wednesday.

"It's all about states' rights and it needs to be straightened out," Trump said. "And I'm sure that the governor and everybody else will bring it back into reason and that will be taken care of."

The Biden campaign is dropping a seven-figure ad buy in Arizona, a key swing state, in light of the ruling.

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