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President Joe Biden speaks to members of the United Steel Workers Union at the United Steel Workers Headquarters on April 17 in Pittsburgh.
Tampa, Florida CNN  — 

President Joe Biden visited his rival’s home turf in Florida on Tuesday, where his team is seeking to leverage a restrictive abortion law to visit put the state in play for Democrats, seeing reproductive rights as a galvanizing issue for voters one week before a restrictive abortion ban in that state goes into effect.

Democrats have seized on abortion ahead of November, hoping it could spur moderate voters – particularly women – to turn out in droves against former President Donald Trump by tying the abortion bans directly to him.

“Donald Trump stripped away the rights and freedoms of women in America,” Biden said in Tampa on Tuesday, adding it will be “on all of us” to restore those rights.

“And when you do that, it will teach Donald Trump and extreme MAGA Republicans a valuable lesson,” Biden added. “Don’t mess with the women of America.”

Biden’s campaign often cites Democratic successes in the 2022 midterms and off-year elections since Roe v. Wade was overturned as examples of the issue driving voters to the polls.

And they’ve put a renewed focus on Florida following a pair of state Supreme Court rulings this year – one paving the way for a six-week abortion ban in Florida, the other giving Floridians a chance in November to enshrine abortion access in the state’s constitution. Biden campaign officials and Democratic strategists are hoping elevating the issue in the state will help drive voter turnout and potentially deliver the state for Biden.

Last year, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill that would ban most abortions in the state after six weeks, making it one of the most restrictive states in the country to obtain an abortion. The ban will go into effect May 1 after the state Supreme Court recently overturned decades of legal precedent in the state that protected abortion through the second trimester of a pregnancy.

But even as Biden’s campaign believes that ban will galvanize left-leaning and moderate Florida voters, they face an uphill battle if they seek to flip that state, which has become a reliably red bastion for the MAGA movement and has turned sharper to the right since 2020. Trump and many of his family members and allies from his time in the White House have made the state their home in recent years.

Biden’s Tuesday trip is part of a strategy by his campaign to keep abortion at the forefront, arguing that it’s part of a broader threat to personal freedoms and health care. In an example of how salient an issue abortion is for the campaign, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris’ first joint campaign appearance this election year was focused on reproductive rights.

In Tampa on Tuesday, Biden repeatedly needled both Trump and Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who argued when Roe was overturned that the high court should consider revisiting rulings that provide the federal right to contraception and same-sex marriage.

Biden poked fun at the former president during his remarks for describing “the Dobbs decision as a miracle,” a reference to the 2022 decision that led to Roe’s reversal.

“Maybe it’s coming from that Bible he’s trying to sell,” Biden joked. “I almost wanted to buy one to see what the hell’s in it. Folks, it was no miracle – it was a political deal to get rid of Roe – a deal, a political deal he made with the evangelical base of the Republican party.”

During Tuesday’s event, Biden also invoked the Arizona Supreme Court’s decision to revive a 160-year-old law barring all abortions except in cases when “it is necessary to save” a pregnant woman’s life.

“Trump has literally taken us back 160 years,” Biden said. “He says it’s up to the states – this is all about state’s rights. But he’s wrong. The Supreme Court was wrong. This should be a constitutional right in the federal Constitution.”

“This isn’t about state’s rights,” Biden added, “it’s about women’s rights.

In a recent stop in Arizona, Harris, who’s crisscrossed the country to talk about reproductive rights, cast restrictive abortion laws as “Trump abortion bans.” She continued that pitch on Monday in battleground Wisconsin – advancing the Biden campaign’s “split screen” as Trump sat in court.

Trump has shifted his abortion position over the last two decades, and most recently, argued that abortion legislation should be left to the states. But Trump’s own status as a Florida resident means he will have an opportunity to directly weigh in on the abortion referendum in November. His advisers have not said how he’ll vote.

Democrats have struggled to find success in Florida, which has voted Republican in the last two presidential elections and has shifted to the right. Biden lost Florida voters 65 and older to Trump by 10 points in 2020, a wider gap than his 5-point deficit nationally.

But there are some signs that the campaign could shift in his favor: The state’s 2024 ballot will include referendums to legalize recreational marijuana and expand abortion access through state constitutional amendments, which could energize Biden’s base.

“The last time there was an abortion referendum on the ballot, in 2012, President Obama won the state. So, with our enormous financial advantage, Biden-Harris campaign can afford to invest in many paths to victory and that includes Florida,” Tyler said.

Privately, though, Democrats here acknowledge turning the state blue this cycle remains a herculean task and success may be defined by how much they can force Trump to spend in Florida to protect his advantage here.

During Biden’s last trip to Tampa, in early 2023, he railed against GOP efforts to curb entitlements, drawing a contrast with the state’s GOP Sen. Rick Scott, who made a proposal to sunset federal legislation – including Social Security and Medicare – every five years. Florida has the highest population of seniors of any state.

Abortion rights, social security and Medicare, among other issues, were listed in a recent campaign memo, arguing that Biden has an opening in Florida and laying out investments in the state.

In late January, Biden told a group of donors at a high-dollar fundraiser in south Florida that he believes he can win the Sunshine State.

“I think we can win Florida,” he said Tuesday in Jupiter, Florida, about 20 miles from his predecessor’s Mar-a-Lago resort.

CNN’s Sam Fossum and Steve Contorno contributed to this report.