Biden's abortion rights rally repeatedly interrupted by protesters

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MANASSAS, Virginia — President Joe Biden’s big rally Tuesday marking the anniversary of Roe v. Wade was thrown off track as protesters scattered throughout the crowd repeatedly interrupted his speech in protest of his handling of the Israel-Hamas war.

Biden laid out the stakes of the 2024 race, forcefully leaning into the administration’s push to protect reproductive freedom as the general election is quickly coming into focus. He shared the stage with Vice President Kamala Harris — with “RESTORE ROE” displayed behind them in bold, white letters — and laid out the case that former President Donald Trump Trump was responsible for restricting critical health care access for women.

He told the crowd that Trump expects the nation won’t hold him responsible for his role in overturning Roe v. Wade. “But guess what?” Biden said. “I’m betting he’s wrong. I’m betting you won’t forget.”

But as the president attempted to speak about the Republican Party’s plan to further restrict abortion access, he was interrupted every few minutes by protesters chanting “genocide Joe” and “ceasefire now or no vote.” The crowd of Biden supporters tried drowning them out with chants of “four more years.”

The president was interrupted at least 14 times as advance staffers and law enforcement officers scrambled around the auditorium to usher the protesters out. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, seated in the front row, was seen energetically trying to clap and shout over the disruptions, but the president’s message was lost.

Tuesday’s protest speaks to the discontent in a faction of the Democratic Party over the president’s Israel policy. For months, progressives have tried to force a reckoning with Biden over the war as more than 25,000 people have been killed in Gaza amid Israel’s response to Hamas’ horrific Oct. 7 attack.

Biden has increasingly had to confront public opposition to his handling of the conflict. Earlier this month, protesters interrupted a speech at Mother Emanuel AME Church in Charleston.

“They feel deeply,” Biden said on Tuesday. “This is going to go on for a while. They’ve got this planned.”