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Kamala Harris campaigns on abortion rights in Arizona on Dobbs anniversary

PHOENIX — Vice President Kamala Harris made the case Monday that re-electing President Biden would secure women’s reproductive rights as she urged people in Arizona to get out and vote.

Harris, at a campaign event in Phoenix, vowed that if her 81-year-old running mate were to be presented with legislation codifying access to abortions nationally, “he will sign it into law,” painting a stark contrast between Biden and former President Donald Trump.

“I think most Americans in my travels agree that one does not have to abandon their faith or deeply held beliefs to agree the government should not be telling her what to do with their body,” the vice president told the crowd. “We trust women to know what is in their own best interest.”

The event fell on the second anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson, which overturned Roe v. Wade, and Harris argued that Trump is to blame for the high court’s 2022 decision.

“The former President Donald Trump hand-selected three members of the United States Supreme Court with the intention that they would undo the protections of Roe v. Wade and they did as he intended,” the 59-year-old VP said.

Arizona — one of several states to implement abortion restrictions in the wake of the Dobbs ruling — has a 15-week ban on the procedure that does not make exceptions in cases of rape or incest, which the vice president slammed.

“The idea that the so-called leaders would say to a survivor of a crime of violence to their body, a survivor of a violation of their body, that that survivor has no right or authority to make a decision about what happens to their body next, that’s immoral,” Harris argued. “And that’s what’s happening in our country.”

Earlier this year, the Grand Canyon State was at the center of the abortion debate after the Arizona Supreme Court ruled in April that an 1864 law outlawing nearly all abortions in the state could be enforced.

Democrats and a handful of Republicans voted to move forward with a bill repealing the Civil War-era law after weeks of debate, and Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs signed the legislation in May.

Abortion rights activists are seeking to get an initiative on statewide ballots in November that would  enshrine the right to the procedure until “fetal viability” in Arizona’s constitution.

Opponents of the proposed constitutional amendment argue that the ballot measure’s language, which includes a broad “mental health” exemption, could allow for abortions well beyond the point of fetal viability.

“In Arizona, what you have done in the fight for freedom is outstanding,” Harris said.

“Our work right now is absolutely directly going to affect the people of Arizona,” she added. “That’s what’s in our hands right now.”

“In Arizona, what you have done in the fight for freedom is outstanding,” Harris said.

“Let’s get everyone registered to vote. Let’s remind everyone that this election is going to determine the trajectory of the country for generations,” Harris continued. “None of us can sit this out.”

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Fifty-one percent of likely voters in Arizona said abortion was a “major factor” in deciding whom to vote for in the presidential election, according to a recent CBS News poll, far less than the 82% who responded that the economy was top of mind and the 61% who said the US-Mexico border was a major issue.

Harris’ event drew several state lawmakers, but Hobbs and Democratic state Attorney General Kris Mayes were notably absent.

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