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Harris pushes abortion as key issue in 2024 US campaign – US Politics News – Report by AFR

The same day US President Joe Biden announced his re-election bid, his vice president put forth abortion as a key issue in their 2024 campaign.

“I trust the women of America,” said Kamala Harris, speaking at Howard University, in Washington, before a crowd chanting “four more years.”

“We are living in a moment in time where so many of our hard-earned freedoms are under attack,” said Harris, accusing her Republican opponents of wanting to outlaw abortion nationwide.

“We cannot sleep on this,” Harris said. “There is too much at stake.”

The Biden administration has made the bet that abortion can be used as a hot issue to mobilize its base ahead of the 2024 election, as was the case in the midterm elections in November.

After the Supreme Court axed the nationwide right to abortion last year, Democrats — especially young people — turned out to the polls in numbers. While Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives, the “red wave” of Republican dominance projected in that election was largely dented.

Since the Court’s decision, multiple states that have held referendums on abortion have voted to protect it — including conservative ones.

And according to polls, a majority of Americans think abortion should be legal.

– ‘On the ballot’ –

Shirts distributed at the Howard rally, which was organized around abortion access, staked out the Democrats’ framing of the issue, emblazoned with the phrase “Abortion is on the ballot.”

Stephanie Nash, head of the Blue Ridge Abortion Fund in Virginia, grabbed one, promising to “continue the fight.”

She said she was excited to see Harris, a fellow Black woman and the first to serve as vice president, “use her platform to speak up and speak out.”

Republicans, despite claiming victory in the Supreme Court ruling, have since struggled to stake out their party’s definitive position on abortion. Strict bans enacted in some conservative states have some Republicans wanting to adopt more moderate positions, while others want to hold firm on near or total bans — the same bans that fire up Democratic voters.

– Biden’s stance –

“I’ve been looking forward to seeing her!” 19-year-old student Naudia Thurman said of Harris, adding that she hoped abortion would be a dominant political issue in the 2024 campaign.

“I think it would also be important if Biden was here,” the psychology major added. In her opinion, women are often forced to take the lead on the issue in US politics.

Biden, a devout Roman Catholic, has staunchly defended abortion rights as they’ve come under pressure from the right.

Also on the agenda for the Biden-Harris ticket: Pitching their economic message to middle-class Americans, a key demographic the Republicans will also fight over.

Both parties will have plenty of time to do so, given the United States’ uniquely long campaign season: The election is more than 550 days away.

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