President Biden headlined a rally in support of abortion rights on Tuesday, trying to focus on an issue that has galvanized his supporters even as he was interrupted every few minutes by at least 10 people protesting the war in Gaza, an issue that has just as quickly divided Democrats.
Mr. Biden, a practicing Catholic who has been a reluctant supporter of abortion rights, has leaned on Vice President Kamala Harris to be the most vocal activist in his administration. But on Tuesday, in front of a banner reading “Restore Roe,” Mr. Biden raised his voice to a yell in support of Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed a constitutional right to abortion before the Supreme Court overturned it in 2022.
His yelling also helped drown out the voices of people waving Palestinian flags, shouting “Genocide Joe” and demanding a cease-fire. “Please don’t jump,” he said to one protester waving a sign in a balcony.
“They feel deeply,” Mr. Biden said at another point. (The antiwar group CodePink later took credit for organizing the protest.)
The moment was a convergence of a promising election-year issue and another that has threatened to overshadow Mr. Biden’s presidency and dim his chances with more progressive corners of the Democratic electorate. Different portions of the crowd — supporters and protesters — were either clapping or screaming, illustrating the conflict in real time.