Biden Assails ‘Outrageous’ Florida Abortion Ruling as His Campaign Blames Trump

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Biden Assails ‘Outrageous’ Florida Abortion Ruling as His Campaign Blames Trump


President Biden on Tuesday called a Florida Supreme Court decision to uphold a restrictive abortion law “outrageous” and “extreme,” saying it had effectively eliminated access to the procedure across the American South.

The president said in a statement that the restrictions imposed in Florida and others by Republicans across the country “endanger the health and lives of millions of women.” But Mr. Biden said voters would have “the opportunity to make their voices heard” after the court separately ruled that Floridians could decide whether to expand access to abortion in November.

Mr. Biden’s statement on the decision, which clears the way for a six-week abortion ban, came as his campaign and a number of Democratic officials tried hard to shift responsibility for dwindling access to abortion care squarely to former President Donald to blame J. Trump.

“Donald Trump is directly to blame for the fact that abortion is now effectively banned throughout the southeastern United States,” Julie Chávez Rodríguez, Mr. Biden’s campaign manager, told reporters on Tuesday. “Make no mistake, Donald Trump will do everything in his power to try to pass a nationwide abortion ban if he is re-elected.”

Mr. Trump has indicated his support for a roughly 15-week ban on abortion, except for rape or incest or to save the life of the mother. A Trump campaign representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Florida court decision.

Democrats believe the decisions will turn out voters in Florida and perhaps even flip the state – a far-reaching opportunity in a state where Mr. Biden’s nominee is a registered voter.

“We realize how difficult it will be to win Florida,” Ms. Chávez Rodríguez said, “but we also know that Trump doesn’t have it in the bag.”

As evidence, she and other officials pointed to ballot initiatives in other states where voters have turned out in the months since the U.S. Supreme Court handed down Roe v.

The decision in Florida brings scrutiny to a state that has historically been a haven for people seeking abortions from states with more restrictive policies. The state’s conservative-leaning Supreme Court ruled Monday that a 15-week abortion ban enacted in 2022 was constitutional. That decision allows a six-week ban advocated by Ron DeSantis, the state’s Republican governor, to take effect on May 1.

At the same time, the court also ruled that a proposed constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to abortion until the fetus is viable, usually around 24 weeks, could come to the November vote.

Democrats say restricting abortion access is a losing issue for Republicans. In Congress, some Republicans, particularly those in swing districts, have quietly backed away from restrictive abortion legislation and instead sought to attack Democrats on other issues such as immigration, crime and the economy.

In fact, Mr. Trump’s campaign on Tuesday shared the names and photos of people who officials said were victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, as the former president prepared to visit Michigan and Wisconsin.

Democrats remained focused on abortion.

“The more Republicans get involved here, the worse it will be for them at the ballot box, and it should be because this is an issue that matters to people across the country,” said Gov. Roy Cooper, Democrat of North Carolina.

The Biden campaign also released an ad in battleground states on Tuesday in which the president accused his rival of supporting a national abortion ban. The ad begins with Mr. Trump saying he is “proud” to have helped overturn Roe.

“Donald Trump doesn’t trust women,” Mr. Biden says in the ad. “I do.”

The spot is part of a $30 million spend on advertising in highly competitive states. According to the campaign, viewers will see it at Major League Baseball games, on “Saturday Night Live” and on prime-time shows including the Country Music Television Awards. The campaign is also targeting social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube and Facebook for Florida-based users to view.

People familiar with the Biden campaign’s strategy said it was unclear whether the campaign would devote significant resources to the Florida upheaval, but several said the court’s decision to allow a referendum on abortion rights protections would Attract voters to the November elections. Recent polls show there is enough support to pass the measure, a sign activists say is encouraging with months left until the election.

“I think in this election cycle with these contrasts, anything is possible and we have to go anywhere as if it were possible,” Mini Timmaraju, the president of Reproductive Freedom for All, said in an interview.



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2024-04-02 19:52:44

www.nytimes.com