Skip to Content, Navigation, or Footer.

Kari Lake speaks about abortion, protests with College Republicans on Tempe campus

The ASU club hosted the controversial Republican amid a heated abortion debate in Arizona and college protests across the U.S.

Kari Lake speaks at an event hosted by the College Republicans at ASU on Thursday, April 25, 2024 in Tempe.

Kari Lake spoke to university students and community members in Tempe on Thursday to discuss her run for Senate, the state of the abortion debate in Arizona, and college education amid pro-Palestine protests at universities across the nation.

Lake, the presumptive Republican nominee for Sen. Kyrsten Sinema's Senate seat, was hosted by College Republicans at Arizona State University on April 25 in the Senita Ballroom. The former Fox10 local news anchor turned politician used the time to encourage the crowd of about 100 attendees, few of whom were students, to vote for her during the November General Election.

The event kicked off with a reciting of The Pledge of Allegiance, after which Lake was introduced by Carson Carpenter, a junior studying political science and the president of College Republicans at ASU. 

Before introducing Lake, Carpenter said the event took months of planning and claimed "the university didn't want us (College Republicans) to have this event." He also cited incidents of posters advertising the event being "vandalized, ripped (and) taken down."

Lake has made recent headlines for her stance on the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a near-total abortion ban from 1864. 

Earlier this month on the day of the decision, Lake released a statement on X, formerly Twitter, that said the 1864 law is "out of step" with Arizonans and called on Hobbs and the state Legislature to come up with "an immediate common sense solution."

READ MORE: Arizona House passes bill to repeal 1864 abortion ban, which will now go to Senate

When Lake was asked about her opinion on the abortion ban during Thursday's College Republicans event, she said she is "about as pro-life as they get."

She referenced an initiative called the Arizona for Abortion Access Act, which, if approved by voters, would grant people the right to terminate a pregnancy, and told audience members that a bill like that is "what we’re facing right now in November."

"This 1864 law does not have any exceptions for rape and incest. And I believe, like Ronald Reagan and President Trump, that there needs to be exceptions for rape and incest and (for) the life of the mother," Lake said. "If we don't have exceptions, we're going to end up with that initiative enshrined in our (state) Constitution forever that allows abortion up until the birth of the baby."

According to the Arizona for Abortion Access website, "The Act protects access to abortion after fetal viability if a treating healthcare provider determines an abortion is needed to protect the life or physical or mental health of the patient, using accepted clinical standards and evidence-based medicine."

READ MORE: Protestors meet at Capitol while House Republicans block vote to repeal abortion ban

Lake said the current biggest threat to the college-aged generation of men and women is "psychological abuse," referring to various "liberal ideals" like students expressing different gender identities.

"The stuff you've had to endure is insanity," Lake told the crowd, mostly speaking to the college-age attendees. "You have to show up in class and you see someone who's obviously a man, and you have to call them a girl, and you see somebody who's obviously a girl and you have to call them a boy or you get in trouble."

Audience members take pictures as Kari Lake speaks to students and community members at an event hosted by the College Republicans at ASU on Thursday, April 25, 2024 in Tempe.

Lake said some of the effects of that "psychological abuse" could be seen in current pro-Palestine student protests on college campuses across the country, including The University of Southern California, Columbia University, New York University, University of Texas-Austin and more.

"The same seniors who had graduation canceled because of COVID are now going to have their graduation canceled at USC because of these outrageous anti-semitic protests on campus," Lake said. "And if you don't get involved, they're going to continue to inflict this kind of pain on you until we stop them."

Kira Carmical, a senior studying psychology who attended the event in support of Lake, said Lake is a good candidate for ASU students because she will defend free speech rights and border security. Carmical also said Lake will "increase safety, especially in places with high crime like Tempe."

Other attendees had a more curious view of Lake, such as Nick Karmia, a junior studying journalism.

"I'm actually originally from Illinois, but she's obviously a very popular figure across the country," Karmia said. "So I wanted to see what she had to say and hear her out."

Alysa Horton contributed to this reporting.

Edited by Grey Gartin, Sadie Buggle and Angelina Steel.

Reach the reporter at and @nataliajarrett on X.

Like The State Press on Facebook and follow @statepress on X.

Continue supporting student journalism and donate to The State Press today.

Subscribe to Pressing Matters



This website uses cookies to make your experience better and easier. By using this website you consent to our use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie Policy.