Kamala Harris responds to Donald Trump’s views on state punishments for abortion: ‘It’s outrageous’

Kamala Harris has responded to Donald Trump's views on abortion punishment. (Getty)

Kamala Harris has responded to Donald Trump’s views on allowing state punishments for violating abortion bans, calling his comments “outrageous”. 

Former president Trump – who is currently rallying for a non-consecutive, second presidential term – said in a 30 April interview that he wouldn’t step in during state decisions on abortion policy post-Roe v. Wade, including states which would attempt to monitor people’s pregnancies and prosecute those who violate abortion bans.

This would cement abortion as a criminal offence, rather than a healthcare necessity between a person and their doctor.

Trump also rejected during the interview with Time Magazine to commit to veto – a no vote which blocks a decision – to advance federal restrictions if they were to land on his desk if he was voted into the White House for a second time. 

“I’m leaving everything up to the states,” he said. “I don’t have to do anything about vetoes, because we now have it [the decision to outlaw abortion] back in the states.”

But in a video shared to Harris’ Instagram on 3 May, the Vice President spoke out against the dangerous views, which would allow states to keep tabs on and incarcerate women and those with uteruses who need or want to end their pregnancy. 

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“Now 4 million people in Florida have fewer reproductive freedoms than they had before. It’s outrageous,” the video’s caption read.

Speaking at a Florida stop on her Fight for Reproductive Freedoms tour, Harris said: “Just this week in an interview he said, ‘states have the right to monitor pregnant women to enforce these bans’, and ‘states have the right to punish pregnant women for seeking out abortion care.’

“So, Florida, the contrast in this election could not be more clear. Basically, under Donald Trump, it would be fair game for women to be monitored and punished by the government, whereas Joe Biden and I have a different view,” she said.

Harris continued: “We believe the government should never come between a woman and her doctor.”

If Trump were to enforce such state laws, it would not be the first time in the US that abortion would be treated as a criminal offence. In April 2022 – before Roe v. Wade was even overturned – a woman was arrested and jailed on a murder charge in Texas for allegedly causing the “death of an individual by self-induced abortion”. After strong public backlash, the charges were dropped. 

Since the overturn of Roe v. Wade, 14 states in the country have enacted a near-total ban on abortion. A further two states, Georgia and South Carolina have banned abortion past six weeks of pregnancy, as per The Guardian. For context, one in three people discover they are pregnant past six weeks’ gestation, according to ANSIRH

For abortion support in the US, visit Planned Parenthood here. For abortion support in the UK and Northern Ireland, visit the NHS website here. For abortion support in Ireland, which has been lawful since March 2020, visit HSE here.