VP Harris blames Trump for Georgia abortion ban on heartbeat law anniversary

U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris speaks in conversation with actress Sophia Bush during a Fight For Reproductive Freedoms event at the Mexican Heritage Plaza on January 29, 2024 in San Jose, California. Vice President Harris is touring the country t

It was 5 years ago today that Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed the restrictive "heartbeat" abortion bill, known as the Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act, into law, banning abortion after approximately six weeks.

The Georgia law includes exceptions for rape and incest, provided a police report is filed, and allows for later abortions when the mother's life is at risk or a serious medical condition renders a fetus unviable.


However, a federal judge blocked the law in October 2019 before it could take effect, ruling it violated the right to abortion established by the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. In June 2022, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, clearing the way for the Georgia law to take effect.

RELATED: Georgia Surpreme Court candidate files lawsuit to keep campaigning on abortion

In November 2022, Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney declared the ban "unequivocally unconstitutional" because it was enacted in 2019 when Roe v. Wade permitted abortions well past six weeks. However, on October 24, 2023, the Georgia Supreme Court overturned the lower court's ruling, leaving limited abortion access unchanged for Georgia residents.

At the time, Gov. Kemp stated, "Today’s victory represents one more step toward ending this litigation and ensuring the lives of Georgians of all ages are protected."

The White House has maintained that such bans, like Georgia's, have had "dangerous impacts" on women nationwide. President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are using former President Donald Trump's position on abortion as a significant campaign platform.

According to JoeBiden.com, Trump brags about overturning Roe v. Wade and has said that women should face "punishment" for obtaining reproductive health care. Biden and Harris have been campaigning heavily in states with abortion restrictions, such as Florida and Arizona.

On Tuesday, Harris released a statement on Georgia's abortion ban, emphasizing Trump's responsibility for the harm and confusion women have faced. She highlighted the effects on maternal mortality and vowed that the Biden administration would continue fighting for reproductive rights and overturning restrictive abortion laws.

"On the anniversary of Georgia’s abortion ban being signed into law, we must be clear:

Donald Trump is responsible for the harm, chaos, and confusion women have suffered since the law went into effect. The Trump abortion ban in Georgia rips away women’s freedoms before many even know they’re pregnant and will only worsen the maternal mortality crisis.

"The fear and anguish Georgia women have endured because of Donald Trump is unconscionable, but this is the reality Trump set out to create when he proudly appointed three Supreme Court justices with the intent to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

Even worse, Trump now says states like Georgia have the right to monitor pregnancies and punish women."It is simple: the government should not come between a woman and her doctor, and President Biden and I will never stop fighting to protect reproductive freedom and restore the protections of Roe. This November, we will stop these Trump abortion bans and stand up for women’s freedoms in Georgia and across the country."

Although Trump didn't overturn Roe v. Wade directly, his Supreme Court appointments facilitated the decision. However, the phrase "Donald Trump did this" has become a frequent refrain in Biden's re-election campaign.

During a recent interview with the New York Times, Trump refused to commit to vetoing a federal abortion ban, despite his previous statements about allowing states to punish women who violate abortion bans.

On Tuesday, Harris' husband, Douglas Emhoff, was reportedly in Atlanta visiting Black-owned businesses and participating in a panel on reproductive rights.