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On the anniversary of the fall of Roe, Democrats lay the blame for worsening health care on Trump – Metro US

On the anniversary of the fall of Roe, Democrats lay the blame for worsening health care on Trump

Harris
Vice President Kamala Harris speaks during the Unite Here Convention on Friday, June 21, 2024, in New York. (AP Photo/Yuki Iwamura)

WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 running for office are also focusing their campaigns around reproductive rights and believe it will motivate voters in key swing states.

Jessica Mackler, president of Emily’s List, a group that supports Democratic women, referred Monday to the 2023 election win by Janet Protasiewicz, a liberal candidate for Wisconsin Supreme Court who made abortion rights a focus of her campaign, as an example of how the issue can be used to win.

“I know when we do this work we can win,” Mackler said at an event with Sen. Tammy Baldwin, who is up for reelection.

“This isn’t a branding problem for Republicans. It’s an agenda problem. We can’t let them get away with it,” she said.

Dr. Kristin Lyerly, an obstetrician and gynecologist running for an open congressional seat in Wisconsin, said Monday that it’s an issue of freedom.

“People are concerned about the cost of gas and groceries,” Lyerly said on a conference call with reporters. “They do talk about the border, but the fundamental thing that they are concerned about is the ability to make their own personal health care decisions. This is an issue of freedom. It’s not a political issue for them. It’s existential.”

Lyerly performed abortions across Wisconsin but temporarily moved her practice to Minnesota after the Supreme Court’s ruling. She was among those who brought a successful lawsuit challenging the state’s abortion ban.

The White House is also detailing its policy efforts to protect access to abortion, contraception access and the right to travel for medical care, as it awaits another high-court decision expected sometime this month that will affect how women receive emergency medical care.

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

Klein said the administration is already working to implement three executive orders by Biden aimed at protecting access where able, guarding contraceptive care and privacy rights, and expanding health care. That push will continue if the president is reelected.

The high court earlier this month preserved access to a medication that was used in nearly two-thirds of all abortions in the U.S. last year, in the court’s first abortion decision since the case that overturned Roe.

But there’s one more case, related to a federal law, called the Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act, or EMTALA, The law requires doctors to stabilize or treat any patient who shows up at an emergency room and applies to nearly all emergency rooms — any that accept Medicare funding.

The Justice Department has sued Idaho over its abortion law, which allows a woman to get an abortion only when her life — not her health — is at risk. The state law has raised questions about when a doctor is able to provide the stabilizing treatment that federal law requires.


Associated Press Writers Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisc. and Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux in Washington contributed to this report.