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Abortion, Medicare Takes Center Stage in Biden’s North Carolina Visit

(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden assailed Donald Trump for his role in overturning federal abortion rights as he took his electoral pitch to North Carolina, a state that twice backed his Republican rival.

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Biden, joined by Vice President Kamala Harris, spoke hours after the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the first major abortion case before the justices since they overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in 2022, spurring a wave of stricter restrictions on the procedure in Republican-led states and galvanizing Democrats.

“Trump and MAGA Republicans responsible for the chaos that followed are now calling on a national ban of choice in every state,” Biden said in Raleigh on Tuesday, highlighting an issue Democrats see as a vulnerability for Republicans among younger voters and suburban women.

Tuesday’s arguments involved access to the abortion drug mifepristone, a case which threatens to hold major repercussions for November’s general election. Democrats credit their messaging on the issue with helping them secure a better-than-expected showing in the 2022 midterms and Biden has vowed to codify abortion rights if voters give Democrats control in Washington.

“Just this morning the Supreme Court heard a case to gut access to medication that was approved by the FDA 20 years ago to give women a choice,” Biden said. “If America sends me a Congress that are Democrats, I promise you, Kamala and I will restore Roe v. Wade as the law of the land again.”

Earlier: Supreme Court Suggests It Will Back Access to Abortion Pill

Biden’s North Carolina visit marks the end of a swing-state push that took him to major battlegrounds, including Pennsylvania, Georgia, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nevada and Arizona, after he outlined his second-term agenda in his March 7 State of the Union address.

The president spoke as one of his rivals for the White House, independent candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr., held an event in Oakland, California, where he announced his selection of Silicon Valley entrepreneur Nicole Shanahan as his running mate.

The ramped-up schedule comes at a critical point, with Trump largely sidelined by a cash crunch. As Biden has barnstormed the country, Trump has seen his attention dominated by his criminal and civil court cases and found his operation lagging in fundraising to the president.

Read more: Biden Erases Trump’s Lead in ‘Blue Wall’ States He Needs to Win

A Bloomberg News/Morning Consult poll released Tuesday showed Biden gaining ground on Trump in six of seven swing states surveyed, including North Carolina where he now trails his Republican rival by 6 percentage points, down from 9 in February.

But while Biden is eager to expand the battleground map, he faces an uphill climb in North Carolina. Barack Obama was the last Democrat it voted for during his 2008 White House run.

In a memo Tuesday, Biden’s campaign noted the state provided Trump with his narrowest margin of victory in 2020, and cast it, with Georgia, as a southern battleground where campaign investments could pay off.

Earlier: Biden’s Bid for Rare North Carolina Win Starts in Rural Towns

North Carolina has enacted a 12-week abortion ban with limited exceptions. That law is expected to take center stage in this year’s gubernatorial race, pitting Democrat Josh Stein, the state attorney general against Republican Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson, who is backed by Trump.

--With assistance from Josh Wingrove.

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