WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday marked the one-year anniversary of a Supreme Court ruling overturning the right to an abortion by telling a rally of abortion-rights supporters that Republicans will regret their efforts to limit reproductive rights.
“The majority wrote, ‘Women are not without an electoral or political power.’ You ain’t seen nothing yet,” Biden said of the Supreme Court’s landmark Dobbs decision. “Make no mistake: this election is about freedom on the ballot once again.”
Biden made the remarks at a rally as he picked up three endorsements from reproductive rights groups: Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America and EMILY’s List. The endorsements were expected, and Democrats predict the issue will galvanize voters in 2024 when Biden runs for re-election.
Also on Friday, Biden signed an executive order designed to protect and expand access to contraception, a right he has said also may come under assault from his political opponents.
Over the past year, Biden has signed multiple executive orders aimed at shoring up access to abortion rights, including the ability to access abortion pills or travel out of states that have banned the procedures.
Vice President Kamala Harris, who also attended the rally, has taken a key role on the issue, traveling around the country to meet with state legislators, local leaders and advocates.
Just a mile away from the abortion rights rally, Republican presidential candidates including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis and former Vice President Mike Pence praised restrictions on such rights in remarks to a deeply religious crowd at the Faith & Freedom Coalition event.
Biden’s campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said the organizing power of the three abortion rights groups was essential to Democrats’ strong performance in the 2022 midterms and will be again.
“MAGA Republicans promising a national abortion ban makes the stakes for reelecting President Biden and Vice President Harris all the more important,” she said in a statement, referring to former President Donald Trump’s “Make America Great Again” slogan.
Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel issued a statement calling Biden’s views on the issue “completely out of touch with Americans.”
McDaniel said “Republicans must go on offense on this issue, expose their Democrat opponents’ extremism, and continue to fight for commonsense pro-life protections that we know Americans firmly support.”
Biden has also received early endorsements from labor unions and environmental groups, consolidating support, discouraging challengers from within his own party, building coalitions and starting fundraising and advertising drives around issues that are key to getting Democratic voters to the polls in 2024.
The June 24, 2022, Dobbs decision struck down the 1972 Roe v. Wade ruling that had largely protected abortion rights in the U.S.
In last November’s congressional elections, Republicans narrowly won control of the House of Representatives but fell short of expectations. Democrats retained narrow control of the Senate. Strategists in both parties have attributed Democratic strength in 2022, in part, to higher support from people who back abortion rights.
Some Republicans have called on party leaders to soften their stance on the issue in a bid to win over swing voters in competitive elections.
Some 64% of respondents in a Reuters/Ipsos poll in May said they were less likely to support a presidential candidate who backed laws severely restricting abortion, compared to 36% who said they were more likely to back such a candidate.
The biggest expansions of abortion rights over the past year occurred in states, including Michigan and Minnesota, where Democrats control both the legislature and the governor’s office.
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