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WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: Florida is ready to take back our rights

Apr 03, 2024

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: Florida is ready to take back our rights

This week’s Florida Supreme Court decisions to trigger a dangerous abortion ban before most women know they’re pregnant and to put an abortion measure on the ballot this November are a game changer for the Florida Senate race. Millions of Floridians, including young voters, voters of color, and Republicans are ready to vote to protect reproductive rights – both through the abortion ballot measure and through the Florida Senate race.

MSNBC All in with Chris Hayes: Florida puts Abortion Amendment on November Ballot

  • They have lost every time so far since Roe was overturned.
  • “Florida was the last state to offer reproductive care for thousands of women in the Southeast region. I’m really concerned as a mom for the safety of young women across our state. I’m concerned about the rise in maternal mortality rates, which we know is affecting Black women and Latina women at very high rates.”
  • “Florida is a purple state and we saw it in the ballot initiative, this is not a partisan issue. About 1.5 million of Floridians signed onto that petition to get it on the ballot and it included 150,000 Republicans.
  • You have a distinct situation which is an extremely restrictive ban in place now, the opportunity to overturn that ban and enshrine the right into the state constitution on Election Day, on the same day that you might have a situation in which a Republican Senate, a Republican President, a Republican House, would then pass a national abortion ban that would overturn whatever the state did.

The Hill: Florida Democrats see ray of hope for Senate race after abortion rulings

  • Democrats in Florida say the decision will boost former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel Powell (D) in what is expected to be a challenging bid to oust incumbent Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) in a state no Democrat has won statewide since 2018.
  • It makes me more committed than ever to make sure that we not only pass the ballot amendment … but to make sure that I win,” Mucarsel Powell said Monday in an interview with The Hill hours after the ruling.
  • “It gives Democrats an offense strategy, so that gives Congresswoman Mucarsel Powell an advantage,” said Florida-based Democratic strategist Christian Ulvert. “It puts Republicans on defense, so Rick Scott is going to depend on, likely, his personal wealth to overcome that defense that they’re going to be put in.”
  • Democrats, on the other hand, point to Scott’s narrow margins of victory in the state and the fact that he will be running for the first time during a presidential year, which tends to see higher turnout.

The Washington Post: Condoms, campaign ads: The fight for Florida voters after abortion rulings begins

  • But already, the fight for Florida has begun, the rulings transforming a once-lackluster race into what is now likely to be a fierce duel.
  • In light of Monday’s rulings, Democrats likely see an opportunity to mobilize both those who identify with the party and the 3.5 million voters potentially stuck somewhere in between.
  • Democrats said the abortion rulings could also boost the efforts of former Florida Rep. Debbie Murcasel-Powell, who is challenging Republican Rick Scott for his U.S. Senate seat. Scott has said that he would have signed a six-week abortion ban while he was governor of Florida if it had been presented to him.

Palm Beach Post: Abortion, marijuana measures raise hope for Democrats in Trump’s home state

  • Ballot measures on abortion access and recreational marijuana may jolt election season in Florida, driving turnout among women and younger voters while giving Democrats renewed hope in former President Trump’s home state.
  • Seven states have voted in support of ballot measures endorsing abortion access since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022 and gave states authority to impose fresh restrictions.
  • U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, a Republican elected six years ago by just over 10,000 votes, is up for reelection this year. And his leading Democratic opponent, former U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, wasted little time lashing out at him for endorsing the six-week limit.
  • “Come November, Floridians will prove that we are committed to protecting our fundamental rights and standing up to the radical leaders who threaten them,” she said.

Sun Sentinel: Making Florida relevant again, immediately | Editorial

  • Florida’s sweeping new six-week abortion ban will be one of the worst things ever to happen to women in this state. But paradoxically, it might also be one of the best things to happen to democracy in Florida.
  • Many women are not even aware they are pregnant after six weeks, and those who are will be forced to flee Florida’s cruelly life-threatening restrictions to the Northeast or Midwest for medical care.
  • Nor has there been a word from Sen. Rick Scott, who has said he would have signed the six-week abortion ban had he been governor, and who could now face a much tougher re-election challenge from Democrat Debbie Mucarsel-Powell.
  • Polls show strong bipartisan support for abortion rights in Florida, despite the rightward drift of the state’s politics in recent years and the dramatic surge in Republican voter registration.

Vanity Fair: Florida’s 6-Week Abortion Ban Could Screw Republicans in November

  • “We have a new situation here in Florida,” Jayden D’Onofrio, chairman of Future Leaders of Florida, a Democrat-aligned group, told The Washington Post on Tuesday. “Florida is in play.”
  • Democrats believe the six-week ban will also affect races down the ballot, including former Florida representative Debbie Murcasel-Powell’s effort to win Rick Scott’s Senate seat (particularly because Scott has said he would have signed a six-week ban as governor).
  • After polls conducted last month showed 73% of Floridians support the abortion amendment, which requires 60% to pass, Florida Women’s Freedom Coalition executive director Anna Hochkammer told The New York Times, “Supporters tend to be quite firm in their support, while opponents tend to be quite squishy,” she said. “This polls well across all demographics. It’s motivating to young people and women, too. No one can deny that it will shape the voter universe.”

Washington Post: Opinion | Republicans’ abortion woes worsen

  • A record 59 percent of surveyed Americans believe abortion should be legal, according to a new Fox News poll,” the Hill reported last week. “Support for abortion rights has increased by double digits since early 2022, just before the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision.”
  • Meanwhile, in Florida, where Sen. Rick Scott (R) is up for reelection and hope springs eternal among Democrats to win at the presidential level, Democrats could get a boost from the proposed Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion, which provides: “No law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient’s health, as determined by the patient’s healthcare provider.”
  • The unbroken string of victories for pro-choice measures since Dobbsand the subsequent washout of the red wave in the 2022 midterms suggest abortion has changed the electoral landscape.

New York Times: With Abortion Ballot Question, a ‘Path to Relevance’ for Democrats in Florida?

  • It has the potential to pull out more voters, and those voters are more likely to be with us than with the other guys,” said Christina Reynolds, senior vice president of communications for Emily’s List, which supports and funds Democratic women running for office. “It draws some focus to Florida that might otherwise not be there, because we’ve had our hearts broken before.”
  • On Monday, Democrats rushed to point out that Senator Rick Scott, a Republican running for re-election, said that he would have signed the six-week ban.
  • Anna Hochkammer, the executive director of the Florida Women’s Freedom Coalition, said that she expected the effect of the abortion ballot measure to be “significant” for other races.
  • Polling conducted last month for her group and Floridians Protecting Freedom, which includes Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, showed 73 percent support for the constitutional amendment, she said. It needs more than 60 percent to pass.


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WHAT THEY’RE SAYING: Florida’s Abortion Ballot Measure Will Fuel Turnout For Debbie Mucarsel-Powell


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