Vice President Kamala Harris will campaign in Phoenix on Dobbs anniversary, putting abortion rights in spotlight

Vice President Kamala Harris will visit Phoenix Monday to campaign for reproductive rights on the two-year anniversary of Dobbs v. Jackson. (File photo by Lydia Curry/Cronkite News)

WASHINGTON – Vice President Kamala Harris will mark the two-year anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling striking down Roe v. Wade in Phoenix, at a campaign event focused on abortion rights.

Arizona has been a battleground for reproductive rights, and Democrats see it as a wedge issue to drive up turnout and lure independents and even some Republicans.

Harris stumped in Tucson days after the Arizona Supreme Court ruled that a near-total ban enacted in 1864 could again be enforced. Her latest visit comes nine days after the Legislature adjourned, ensuring its repeal of that Civil War-era ban cannot take effect even for a few days in the fall.

Harris will remind voters that Donald Trump named three of the six justices who overturned Roe, making him “responsible for overturning Roe and the chaos that has followed,” the Biden campaign said in announcing her visit.

The campaign reiterated warnings that another Trump presidency would further threaten reproductive freedom.

“Abortion is at the forefront of Democratic messaging in most races around the country,” said Jacob Rubashkin, deputy editor of Inside Elections, a nonpartisan newsletter. “It’s not the only thing that Democrats talk about, but it is the issue where they are most comfortable going on the offensive against Republicans.”

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Rubashkin said he wasn’t surprised that Harris would campaign on the anniversary of the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health ruling in Arizona, an “epicenter” of the conversation surrounding abortion.

This is Harris’ third campaign visit to Arizona this year. Since 2022, President Joe Biden has visited three times and Trump has visited four times.

The White House is sending the secretary of Health and Human Services, Xavier Becerra, to Phoenix on Thursday. It’s not a campaign appearance, but the topic is the same. He’ll join Planned Parenthood Arizona at a news conference to discuss abortion care in Arizona amid recent legislative moves.

Abortion is not only an issue in the presidential contest.

It’s also likely to be on the Arizona ballot in November – a move that Democratic strategists view as a way to drive up turnout.

The Arizona Right to Abortion Initiative would establish abortion as a right under the state constitution, with no limits before fetal viability, about 24 weeks.

Arizona for Abortion Access, a coalition of groups supporting the initiative, says it has gotten well over the 383,923 signatures needed to get it on the November ballot. The Arizona Secretary of State’s office will certify the petition in early July.

Recent polling from Noble Predictive Insights found that Arizona voters are evenly split on the ballot measure. About 41% support the initiative and 41% do not, with 18% unsure.

News Digital Reporter, Washington, D.C.

Morgan Kubasko expects to graduate in May 2025 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication and a double minor in business and psychology. Kubasko has worked at GradGuard – College Life Protected, Rising Youth Theatre, KJZZ in Phoenix and The State Press.