Joe Biden in Florida to attack Donald Trump on abortion rights

Joe Biden left for Florida on Tuesday to attack his great rival Donald Trump on the right to abortion, with the hope of carving him out in this state which had voted for the Republican in 2016 and 2020.

The 81-year-old Democrat left the White House for Tampa, where he is due to deliver a speech on access to voluntary terminations of pregnancies. His predecessor is back in court in New York, where he is on criminal trial for hidden payments to a former porn star in 2016.

The Florida Supreme Court recently upheld a ban on abortion beyond six weeks of pregnancy; it is due to come into force in a week. The court nevertheless returned the final decision to voters, who will vote in November, at the same time as the presidential and legislative elections, on an amendment guaranteeing access to abortion.

“Women and their families do not want Trump and his Republican supporters to continue to dismantle their fundamental freedoms,” said the 81-year-old Democrat’s campaign manager, Julie Chávez Rodríguez, in a statement released Tuesday.

By making access to abortion a priority campaign issue, the Biden camp is starting to dream of an electoral feat in Florida. “Florida is not an easy state to win, but [Joe Biden] can make it happen,” the campaign director even assured on 1er last April. The southeastern state, long considered a swing state likely to lean one way or the other, seemed to anchor itself more firmly on the conservative side over the last few elections.

A undermined subject for Trump

If Joe Biden cherishes such ambitions, it is because the subject of abortion is undermined for his Republican rival. Donald Trump is thus trying to play the card of political compromise, torn as he is between American public opinion mainly in favor of the right to abortion and his electorate from the religious right.

The 77-year-old mogul regularly welcomes the decision taken in 2022 by the Supreme Court to cancel protection of the right to abortion at the federal level, after he had given the high court a resolutely conservative composition. Since then, around twenty American states have banned or severely restricted access to this medical procedure.

Many conservatives now want Donald Trump, if elected, to defend a law banning abortion throughout the federal territory, but the former president has not committed to it, to the great dismay of the religious right. “Donald Trump has betrayed the pro-life movement,” said his former vice-president Mike Pence, an evangelical very fiercely opposed to abortion, in a column published last Saturday by the New York Times.

It remains to be seen whether the simultaneous holding in Florida of a local vote on abortion and the presidential election will really benefit Joe Biden. Because, in 2020, voters in the state largely supported a clearly Democratic-inspired measure aimed at increasing the minimum wage. They also, on the same day, voted mainly for Donald Trump.

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