Biden and Harris hold a rally on abortion rights, looking to make access a major issue in the 2024 campaign


In their first joint appearance of the 2024 campaign, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris will hold an abortion rights rally in Virginia on Tuesday, highlighting how they plan to make abortion access a key message ahead of a potential rematch with former President Donald Trump.

His campaign said Biden will address what he will call the “devastating effects” of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade, how women voters supported abortion rights in the last election, and actions his administration has taken since then to protect access to rights.

In a sign that Harris will continue to play a leadership role, the campaign said she will criticize “Republican attacks on our reproductive freedoms.” Biden and Harris will be joined by their spouses, who will also speak at the rally.

Photo: President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with the Reproductive Rights Task Force to commemorate the 51st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, in the State Dining Room of the White House, on January 22, 2024, in Washington, D.C.

President Joe Biden speaks during a meeting with the Reproductive Rights Task Force to commemorate the 51st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, in the State Dining Room of the White House, on January 22, 2024, in Washington, D.C.

Evan Vucci/AP

The rally, which came on the same day as the New Hampshire Republican primary, is part of a larger effort to mark the 51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

Harris began her “Fight for Reproductive Freedoms” tour in Wisconsin on Monday, where she criticized Trump without mentioning his name.

“The former president chose three Supreme Court justices because he intended for them to overturn Roe. He intended for them to take away your freedom. It’s a decision he brags about,” she said, citing the campaign.

During a Fox News town hall in Iowa earlier this month, Trump said: “For 54 years, they’ve been trying to end Roe v. Wade, and I did it, and I’m proud that I did it” — a phrase the campaign has used. Biden has repeatedly turned to fundraising since then.

Photo: Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the International Federation of Painters and Allied Professions District Council 7, on January 22, 2024, in Big Bend, Wisconsin.

Vice President Kamala Harris speaks at the International Federation of Painters and Allied Professions District Council 7, on January 22, 2024, in Big Bend, Wisconsin.

Maury Gash/AFP

“The bottom line is that in order to truly protect reproductive freedoms, we have to restore the protections that Roe provides because, you see, what the United States Supreme Court took away Congress can put back in its rightful place,” Harris said Monday, though the mission of Legalizing Roe would require a majority in the House of Representatives and 60 votes in the Senate. “And when Congress agrees to restore protections for Roe, Joe Biden will sign it.”

On Monday, the Biden campaign published surrogates in Wisconsin, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Nevada, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and South Carolina, to emphasize their message of opposition to abortion bans and the former president.

Biden and Harris are also attacking Trump on the airwaves, rolling out a new TV ad featuring a Texas mother who their campaign said had to go out of state to get a life-saving abortion.

“I never thought I would need an abortion for a planned pregnancy,” said Austin Dennard, MD, a Dallas-area obstetrician-gynecologist. “But I did.”

Dennard said she “desperately wanted” this baby, but was told during a routine doctor’s visit that the fetus had no chance of survival. She blames Trump for having to leave her state because of what she said was a procedure that potentially saved her life.

“In Texas, you are forced to bear this burden because Donald Trump overturned Roe v. Wade,” Dennard said in the ad. “The choice was completely taken away. I was destined to continue with my pregnancy, putting my life at risk.”

Dennard said it was an ordeal, “every woman’s worst nightmare.”

Speaking before a meeting of the Reproductive Health Care Access Task Force on Monday, Biden criticized “extremist Republicans” who he said were putting American lives at risk under the abortion ban. He highlighted what he called the “harsh reality” of those restrictions after announcing modest new steps aimed at expanding access to abortion care.

“People, this is what it looks like when the right to privacy is under attack. These extreme laws have no place, and no place, in the United States of America,” Biden said, calling them “outrageous.”

The president has warned against several proposals by Republicans in Congress that would ban abortion at the federal level, and again, like Harris, called on Congress to codify abortion rights, even though Democrats do not have the votes to pass a bill that would enshrine those rights. Protection.

“Stop playing politics with women’s lives and freedom. Let the doctors do their work,” he said.

December Reuters/Ipsos vote It found that about 50% of Americans would support a law legalizing abortion nationwide and that about one in that number are Republicans. When asked whether protecting access to abortion would influence their vote in November, nearly 70% of Americans said it was an important issue.

Despite the campaign’s urgency to push abortion to the forefront of their platform, some members of Biden’s party are sounding the alarm that more must be done.

Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a key surrogate for the Biden campaign, told CBS’ “Face the Nation” that Biden needs to use more “candid language” to let voters know what is at stake in the upcoming election.

“I think people want to know that this president is fighting. And I think he said that. And maybe using more blunt language, you know, would be helpful,” Whitmer said.

She also said Biden should talk about abortion more.

“I think it would be good if he did that. I know that one of the tenets of his belief system is that women and only women with their families and health care professionals know what decision is right for them,” Whitmer said. “And he is fighting and will continue to fight to make sure that this is the ability of American women to make this decision.”

In just the first year since the Supreme Court overturned its ruling. Against the Wade decision, more than a dozen states banned almost all abortion procedures. But in every referendum on the issue since the court’s decision, voters have voted resoundingly in favor of abortion rights.

Harris scored a victory in November the day after Ohio voted in favor of constitutional protections for abortion access, answering questions from reporters in the White House hallway.

Harris said at the time: “I think the American people made it clear last night that they are ready to stand up for freedom, individual liberties, and the promise of freedom in America, and therefore, it was a good night for democracy.”

“I think if you look at the midterms up until last night, from California to Kansas, from Ohio to Virginia, voters said, ‘Look, the government shouldn’t be telling a woman what to do with her body,'” she said. He added. “So it was a good night, and obviously the president and I have a lot of work to do to get re-elected, but I’m confident we will win.”

Photo: ABC News' Mary Bruce speaks with Vice President Kamala Harris.

ABC News’ Mary Bruce speaks with Vice President Kamala Harris.

Letters of News

Mary Bruce, ABC News’ chief White House correspondent, asked the vice president in an exclusive interview last week: “What can you realistically promise the American people that you’re going to do to protect these reproductive rights?”

“Well, we’re going to continue to do what we’ve been doing. And that includes what we’re doing through the court system, what we’re doing to ensure emergency care and protection for all people,” Harris said. And in terms of access to emergency care, what we’re doing to protect access to contraception is another big part of this.”

In a memo to supporters on Friday, Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said the campaign would continue to attack Trump through Election Day in hopes of repeating recent Democratic victories on abortion.

“With all of this in mind, the Biden-Harris campaign will spend the next 10 months highlighting the impact Donald Trump’s state abortion bans are having on women and providers, and reminding voters exactly what is at stake for reproductive freedom in 2024,” Rodriguez wrote. .

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