President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are preparing to make their first joint campaign appearance of the year. Scheduled for next week in northern Virginia, this event coincides with the New Hampshire primaries and marks a significant moment for the Democratic campaign.
Joining them will be First Lady Jill Biden and Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff, making it a powerful display of unity within the administration. The focus of this event, as stated by a campaign official, is on reproductive rights.
This choice of topic is particularly poignant, coming a day after the anniversary of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. This landmark ruling, which established the federal constitutional right to an abortion, was controversially overturned by the Supreme Court in 2022, sparking widespread debate and concern across the nation.
The Stakes of the 2024 Campaign
The Biden campaign has consistently emphasized the centrality of abortion rights in the 2024 election narrative. Recent years have seen this issue become a pivotal factor in elections at all levels, significantly influencing voter sentiment and electoral outcomes.
The 2022 midterm elections, where Democrats surprisingly retained control of the Senate and narrowly lost the House, suggested that the Supreme Court's decision could reshape the political environment for years. Vice President Harris has emerged as a leading figure in advocating for reproductive rights within the Biden administration.
Her role extends beyond public appearances to intensive policy discussions and strategic deliberations at the White House. She has been instrumental in rallying external allies and responding to the shockwaves sent by the Supreme Court's ruling.
Harris is set to embark on a reproductive rights tour starting in Wisconsin on Monday. Her agenda includes spotlighting the personal stories of American women impacted by the Supreme Court's decision. Last month, in a statement, Harris reiterated her commitment to this cause: “I will continue to fight for our fundamental freedoms while bringing together those throughout America who agree that every woman should have the right to make decisions about her own body – not the government”.
Polls suggest a significant disapproval among Americans regarding the Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. In a recent interview on ABC's "The View," Harris criticized the Republicans for advocating abortion bans, even in cases of rape or incest.
She argued for the re-election of President Biden and a Congress that respects personal beliefs while maintaining that the government should not dictate women's choices about their bodies. As Harris succinctly put it, “In this year of our lord 2024, the government should not be telling women what to do with their bodies. It’s that basic”.