Largest U.S. women's group makes early Biden endorsement, citing abortion rights threats

FILE PHOTO: FILE PHOTO: U.S. Supreme Court overturns the landmark Roe v Wade abortion decision

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The largest U.S. women's group on Friday endorsed President Joe Biden's re-election bid, pledging to use its resources to mobilize voters and drive turnout in 2024.

The political action committee for the National Organization for Women (NOW) offered its earliest-ever endorsement for a presidential re-election campaign, saying women's rights are under attack and the issue of abortion will be on the ballot. The group's last endorsement for the same candidate in a presidential re-election campaign landed for President Barack Obama in July 2012, four months ahead of the elections in November.

The Biden administration is "the firewall against these horrible attempts to roll back our basic rights to abortion, contraception, and healthcare access, to LGBTQ+ protection, to pay parity, and equity," said Christian Nunes, national president of the group.

"We are organizing in every city and town and everywhere in between, across the country to mobilize and turn out voters," she said, referring to the work being done by the group's 100,000 members and supporters.

In June, Biden also won the endorsement of three major U.S. reproductive rights groups — Planned Parenthood Action Fund, NARAL Pro-Choice America and EMILY's List.

The endorsements from women's groups and reproductive rights groups for Biden are not surprising but they highlight how abortion rights remains a hot-button issue in the presidential election and how essential the president's abortion rights agenda will be for his re-election bid.

Turning out women voters in 2024 is also crucial for the Biden campaign. A report from Pew Research in 2021 found Biden made gains with men but his share of women voters remained identical to the support Hillary Clinton had in 2016.

Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said Republicans on the debate stage in Milwaukee on Wednesday "proudly proclaimed their support for stripping women of their rights by banning abortion nationwide."

Most of the Republican presidential candidates have said they would support some type of federal law restricting when abortions would be legal.

"With NOW's massive grassroots organizing resources and leadership, we will mobilize women in historic numbers to re-elect" Biden and Harris, Chavez Rodriguez said.

Nunes said the group will continue coordinating with reproductive rights groups and the Biden campaign to make sure "they are in alignment with the messaging that needs

(Reporting by Nandita Bose in Washington)