VP Kamala Harris Links Roe v. Wade Reversal to Donald Trump in CNN Interview

CNN/Stylemagazine.com Newswire | 1/22/2024, 4:49 p.m.
Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday pinned blame squarely on Donald Trump for the reversal of Roe v. Wade, saying …
Vice President Kamala Harris answers a question during an interview with CNN's Laura Coates in Wisconsin on January 22. She pins the blame on Donald Trump for the reversal of Roe v. Wade. Mandatory Credit: CNN

Originally Published: 22 JAN 24 17:00 ET

By Kevin Liptak, CNN

Waukesha, Wisconsin (CNN) — Vice President Kamala Harris on Monday pinned blame squarely on Donald Trump for the reversal of Roe v. Wade, saying the former president is “proud that women are silently suffering” without a guaranteed right to abortion.

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Vice President Kamala Harris speaks about both Trump and Biden's stances on abortion access. Source: CNN

“The previous president expressed his intentions quite clearly. And fast forward to just recently, says he’s proud of what he did,” Harris told CNN’s Laura Coates during an exclusive interview in Wisconsin, where the vice president was launching a national tour in support of reproductive rights.

Previewing a central reelection argument in a rematch between Trump and President Joe Biden, Harris said the likely Republican nominee relishes his role in new, restrictive abortion laws that have emerged in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s 2022 ruling.

“By inference, he is proud that women have been deprived of fundamental freedoms to make decisions about their own body; by inference, proud that doctors are being penalized and criminalized for providing health care, proud that women are silently suffering because they don’t have access to the health care they need,” Harris added. “So, let’s understand that the stakes are so very high.”

Trump’s role in gutting abortion rights – his three conservative Supreme Court picks all voted to overturn Roe v. Wade – is emerging as a core theme for Harris and Biden as they seek reelection. Reproductive rights have galvanized Democrats and proven a winner at the ballot box in the 19 months since the high court overturned the ruling.

Harris plans to travel to several other states to speak about the issue on her national “Fight for Reproductive Freedoms Tour,” which is expected to last through March. And she will appear at a joint rally with Biden on Tuesday – the same day as the New Hampshire primary – to draw more attention to abortion rights.

On Sunday, the Biden campaign unveiled a new television ad that features an emotional direct-to-camera testimonial from Dr. Austin Dennard, a Texas OB-GYN and mother who traveled out of her state, which has a strict abortion ban, to terminate her pregnancy after learning her fetus had a fatal condition. The campaign said the spot would run during this week’s season premiere of ABC’s “The Bachelor” as it targets young female voters.

At the White House on Monday, Biden met with his administration’s task force on reproductive rights, criticizing Republicans for trying to ban abortion and announcing new steps the White House is taking to expand access to contraception and other reproductive care.

Still, Biden and Harris have acknowledged that fully restoring the protections included in Roe will be impossible without congressional action.

“President Joe Biden has been very clear, when Congress puts the protections of Roe back into the law, he will sign it,” Harris told Coates in Wisconsin. “Similarly, President Joe Biden has been very clear if these extremists achieve their other goal, which is to have a national ban, which means state by state by state. Joe Biden will veto that.”

“The stakes are high,” she said.

This is a breaking story and will be updated.