Sen. Kelly says Arizona abortion ruling is ‘all because of Donald Trump’

April 14, 2024

Sen. Mark Kelly (D-Ariz.) said on Sunday that last week’s Arizona Supreme Court ruling banning nearly all abortions in the state is a result of actions former President Trump took while in office.

“Let me start by saying this has been a disaster for women in Arizona. They’ve lost a fundamental right to abortion, and it’s all because of Donald Trump,” Kelly said in an interview on CBS News’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday.

“Donald Trump owns this. He said just yesterday that he broke Roe v. Wade, and because he did that, this enabled our court to bring back this draconian 1864 law to take away this right, send doctors to jail,” Kelly added.

On Friday, Trump said there was no need for a federal law limiting abortion because, he said, “we broke Roe v. Wade” and that states were working “brilliantly” as many were restricting access to abortion.

His comments come as he has faced backlash all week since saying on Monday that abortion should be left up to the states to determine policy, while appearing to say he would not sign a federal ban.

Trump has particularly been on defense since the Arizona Supreme Court ruling upheld an 1864 law and made performing the procedure a felony. The century-old law makes abortion a felony punishable by two to five years in prison for anyone who performs or helps a woman obtain an abortion. It includes an extremely narrow exception allowing for an abortion “when it is necessary” to save a pregnant person’s life.

The former president has said the court went too far with its ruling, and earlier Friday he urged Arizona lawmakers to act “as fast as possible” to adjust the state’s abortion policy, even as Republicans in the state legislature blocked attempts by Democrats to repeal the 1864 law.

Kelly in the interview on Sunday said he hopes to get a ballot initiative securing the right to abortion this coming November. Either way, however, he said, he expects the ruling to turn Arizona voters out to the polls.

“My first concern is women in Arizona and their health and women could die from this 1864 ruling that once again was enabled by the former president. So that’s my biggest concern,” he said. “We’re going to have an election in November. I imagine we’re going to have large turnout because of this issue.”

“I also want to point out, Margaret, that I don’t think this represents who we are in the state of Arizona. This is a moment in time, we’re gonna get through this. We have an opportunity to fix this in November,” he said.