(Bloomberg) -- President Joe Biden urged voters to punish Donald Trump in November for a wave of abortion restrictions, assailing a six-week ban set to take effect in his rival’s home state of Florida.

Biden on Tuesday pressed his advantage on abortion, which polls show is one of the few issues on which voters trust the president more than his predecessor, by traveling to Tampa to implore Floridians to vote against Trump and for a ballot measure enshrining abortion access in the state constitution. 

“When you do that, we’ll teach Donald Trump and the extreme MAGA Republicans a valuable lesson: Don’t mess with the women of America,” Biden said at a campaign event. 

Florida has voted solidly Republican in recent elections, but Biden expressed confidence the state is “in play,” in part because of backlash to Republican efforts to curtail abortion rights. Biden called the Florida law, set to take effect May 1, one of the most extreme anti-abortion laws in the US that was triggered by Trump’s appointment of Supreme Court justices who helped strike down the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. 

“Let’s be real clear. There’s one person responsible for this nightmare, and he’s acknowledged it and he brags about it: Donald Trump,” Biden said.

“Today in 2024, women have fewer rights than their mothers and their grandmothers because of Donald Trump,” he added. “I don’t think we’re going to let him get away with it.”

The event in Trump’s home state is the most high-profile example yet of Democrats’ efforts to use abortion to shake up the November electoral map. The visit also aimed at rattling the Republican candidate at a time when he has largely been sidelined by a Manhattan criminal trial.

Still, Biden and his Democratic allies would need to spend significant time and resources to defeat Trump in Florida, which he won in each of the last two elections. They have yet to do so.

Michael Tyler, Biden’s campaign communications director, argued other ballot measures across the country have seen voters turn out to protect abortion access, even in Republican-dominated states.

“We take Florida very seriously,” he told reporters Monday. “The idea that Donald Trump has the state in the bag could not be further from the truth.”

Abortion Struggles

The fight over abortion has put Trump on the defensive. The party’s evangelical base favors tougher restrictions, but polls show broad support for reproductive rights.

Trump resisted pressure from anti-abortion groups to back a national ban, arguing states should decide for themselves. But that stance has failed to neutralize the issue, instead disappointing conservative allies and leaving him open to Democratic attacks for appointing three of the Supreme Court justices who helped overturn Roe v. Wade.

Earlier: ‘Donald Trump Did This’: Biden Hits GOP Weakness on Abortion

State court decisions have ensured the issue stays front and center. After an Alabama Supreme Court ruling that embryos should be considered children, Trump urged the state to protect access to in vitro fertilization. And he’s urged Arizona lawmakers to change state law after a top court in the swing state reinstated a Civil War-era measure that imposes a nearly total ban on abortion. 

Split Screen

As Trump deals with the first of four criminal indictments, Biden has visited key battlegrounds in a bid to reverse swing-state polls that show him trailing. He spent three days in Pennsylvania last week trying to shore up his standing with blue-collar voters.

This week, in addition to Florida, he is also visiting Trump’s other home state of New York, with a trip Thursday to tout investments in semiconductor manufacturing and a visit to New York City on Friday. 

Trump, by contrast, has sought to capitalize on the intense media coverage of his trial, speaking to reporters regularly by the courthouse. Still, his legal woes have limited his appearances on the trail. Plans to hold his first rally since the trial began were scrapped last weekend because of severe weather in North Carolina. 

And the legal challenges, including civil cases, have been a financial drain. Trump spent $4.9 million on legal fees in March and has just $6.8 million left in the accounts he’s been using to pay his lawyers, according to campaign filings.

That crunch has left Trump to seek out unorthodox ways of raising funds, including selling sneakers and a line of Bibles — a move Biden mocked Tuesday.

“He described the Dobbs decision as a miracle,” Biden said of the high court ruling striking down Roe. “Maybe it’s coming from that Bible he’s trying to sell.”

--With assistance from Akayla Gardner.

(Updates with Biden remarks starting in first paragraph)

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