Biden’s abortion rights rally in Virginia interrupted by Gaza protests

In a speech in Virginia on Tuesday, U.S. president Joe Biden attacked Republicans for their efforts to curtail abortion rights. However, his remarks were repeatedly interrupted by protesters who criticized his policies towards Israel.

In a counterprogramming move, Biden and Kamala Harris held a rally on abortion the day after New Hampshire voters voted for the Republican candidate. Abortion is a topic that drives people to the polls in opposition to conservative measures.

Biden said that Donald Trump is the person who has the most responsibility for removing this freedom from America.

In 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the Roe v. Wade decision that guaranteed women the right to abortion. This was made possible by a conservative majority, which included three justices appointed under Trump.

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The crowd cheered Biden but not in a friendly manner. Biden was forced to stop or speak after being interrupted by shouts such as “Ceasefire Now” and “Genocide Joe”. This was in response to his support of Israel’s assault on Gaza and its surprise attack on Israel last October 7.

Palestinian health officials said that Israel’s air strikes killed more than 25,000 people.

Biden’s embrace with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has cost him support from young voters and war opponents who could be crucial in 2024, particularly in swing states like Michigan.

Biden stated that the protesters felt deeply after they were removed from the auditorium. Biden continued to speak despite the interruptions from the other participants. He warned the audience of the fact that the interruptions were clearly planned and would continue. To drown out the heckling, supporters in the crowd shouted: “Four more Years!”

Biden received a loud round of applause when he promised to veto any national abortion ban that Republicans might pass in Congress. His rally was held after Virginia Democrats won majorities in state legislatures after making abortion the central issue of their campaign last year.

Biden and Harris launched events Monday, the 51st Anniversary of Roe V Wade. They highlighted Democratic policies on abortion rights and what they described as Republican threats.

Harris, who helped Biden lead the charge on abortion rights at the rally, said that one third of women in reproductive age lived in a state where abortions were banned.

Harris, to loud applause, said: “Let’s all agree that one doesn’t have to abandon his or her deeply held belief to agree that the government shouldn’t be telling her what she should do with her own body.”

She also blamed Trump.

She said that “former President Trump selected… three Supreme Court Justices because he wanted them to overturn Roe.”

A majority of U.S. respondents, according to most opinion polls including a Reuters/Ipsos survey conducted in July, oppose presidential candidates that favor strict abortion restrictions. Since 2022, all seven statewide initiatives enshrining reproductive rights have been successful, including conservative Ohio, Kansas, and Kentucky.