Democrats Descend on Florida Following State Supreme Court Abortion Rulings

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Democrats Descend on Florida Following State Supreme Court Abortion Rulings

The Florida Supreme Court issued two abortion-related rulings on Monday, unleashing “a frenzy of campaigning among Democrats eager to turn the Sunshine State back into the nation’s most important battleground,” Axios reported

The state’s high court upheld a 15-week limit on abortion, while also paving the way for a six-week abortion limit that was passed last year. The court also allowed a proposed amendment that would enshrine the right to abortion in the state constitution up to about 24 weeks of pregnancy to appear on the ballot in November.

Within 24 hours of the decisions, President Joe Biden’s reelection campaign and top Democrats began mobilizing and fundraising, hoping to galvanize Florida voters around the issue of abortion, while also pulling more votes for themselves in a state with a massive Republican advantage. Florida Republicans led Democrats by 854,318 registered voters as of early March, according to Florida’s Voice, which looked at voter registration data at the county level.

Biden campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez released a memo following the rulings, declaring Florida a now “winnable” state. Former President Donald Trump notably led the state by 370,000 votes in 2020.

President Joe Biden also released a statement, calling the 15-week limit decision “extreme”  and the six week limit “outrageous.” He also called on voters to “make their voices heard in support” of the proposed abortion amendment in November.

“We remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting reproductive freedom in Florida and across the nation and will continue to call on Congress to pass a law restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade in every state,” he said.

Vice President Kamala Harris put out a statement on X, blaming Trump for enabling Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) to pass the six-week abortion limit. Trump nominated three conservative-leaning associate justices to the Supreme Court, who ultimately joined the Dobbs decision overturning Roe v. Wade, which had for 50 years invented a Constitutional right to abortion.

The decision to allow Florida’s abortion ban to remain in effect will harm not just the women of Florida but also millions more women who might have traveled to the state to seek reproductive health services.

Trump created this health care crisis.@JoeBiden and I will do…

— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) April 2, 2024

“The decision to allow Florida’s abortion ban to remain in effect will harm not just the women of Florida but also millions more women who might have traveled to the state to seek reproductive health services. Trump created this health care crisis,” Harris wrote. “Joe Biden and I will do everything to stop him.” 

House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) flew to Florida on Tuesday for a press conference and declared state “ground zero” in the fight for abortion. 

“An extreme group of individuals in this state, led by the current governor, are prepared by almost any means to jam their radical right wing ideology down the throats of the people of this state as part of an effort to try to impose a nationwide abortion ban,” Jeffries said during a House Democrat leadership meeting in Fort Lauderdale. “But we can stop them. We must stop them, and we will stop them together.”

Furthermore, the Biden Campaign released a new ad showing Trump proudly talking about his role in the overturn of Roe, although the spot is not running in Florida.

“That could be a sign that while the campaign wants the state to be competitive in November, it’s not yet prepared to invest serious cash in what many Florida Democrats believe is a pipe dream,” Axios noted. 

Matt Isbell, a Democrat elections analyst, told the outlet that operatives are excited for the abortion referendum and for the “on the ground” infrastructure the proposed ballot measure will incentivize. 

“There is a well-founded belief that a lot of money will come into the state now, and that’s going to be good for the entire Democratic column,” Isbell said.

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