Biden calls Florida abortion ruling 'outrageous' as his campaign blames Trump

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

The president said in a statement that the restrictions implemented by Republicans in Florida and across the country are “putting the health and lives of millions of women at risk.” But Mr Biden said voters would “have the opportunity to make their voices heard” after the court ruled separately that Floridians will be able to decide on expanding abortion access in November.

Mr Biden's statement on the decision paving the way for a six-week abortion ban came as his campaign and several Democratic officials launched an all-out effort to pin responsibility for declining access to abortion care on former President Donald Trump. J. Trump.

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

Mr. Trump has indicated support for an abortion ban of about 15 weeks, except in cases of rape or incest, or to save the mother's life. A representative for the Trump campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the Florida court's decision.

Democrats believe the Florida decision will sway voters and perhaps even flip the state — a long shot for a state where Mr Biden's challenger has one registered voter.

“We are clear about how difficult it will be to win Florida,” Ms. Chávez Rodriguez said, “but we also know that Trump doesn’t have it.”

As evidence, he and other officials pointed to ballot initiatives in other states where voters have chosen to protect abortion rights since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022. The court's decision, which eliminated the constitutional right to abortion, followed Mr. Trump's appointment of three conservative judges.

The decision in Florida brings intense scrutiny to a state that has historically been a haven for people seeking abortions from states with more restrictive measures. The state's conservative-leaning Supreme Court ruled Monday that a 15-week abortion ban set to take effect in 2022 was constitutional. The decision will allow a six-week ban, backed by Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis, to take effect May 1. Mr Trump had previously called the six-week ban a “terrible mistake”.

Additionally, the court also ruled that a proposed constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to abortion up to fetal viability, typically around 24 weeks, could go on a vote in November.

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

Indeed, on Tuesday, Mr. Trump's campaign shared the names and photos of people who authorities said were victims of crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, as the former president traveled to Michigan and Wisconsin. Were prepared.

Democrats remained focused on abortion.

Gov. Roy Cooper, a North Carolina Democrat, said, “The more Republicans do here, the worse it will be for them at the ballot box, as it should be, because this is an issue that people care about all across the country.”

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

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

The spot is part of a $30 million advertising spend in competing states. The campaign said viewers would see it during prime-time programming including Major League Baseball games, “Saturday Night Live” and the Country Music Television Awards. The campaign is also targeting social media platforms including Instagram, YouTube and Facebook, so Florida-based users can see it.

People familiar with the Biden campaign's strategy said it was unclear whether the campaign would devote significant resources toward overturning Florida, but many said the court's decision allowing a referendum on protecting abortion rights would help voters. Will attract in elections. Recent polling shows there is enough support to pass the measure, a sign that activists say is encouraging months before the election.

“I think in this election cycle, with these contradictions, everything is possible, and we have to run everywhere like it's possible,” Mini Timmaraju, president of Reproductive Freedom for All, said in an interview.

Mr. Biden, a practicing Catholic, has been a reluctant supporter of abortion access, framing the issue around individual privacy and civil rights rather than access to the medical procedure. He did not use the word abortion in his statement on Tuesday.

“Vice President Harris and I stand with the vast majority of Americans, including those in Florida, who support women's right to choose,” he said.

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