Biden Campaign Sees Opportunity in Florida Abortion Ballot Measure


(Bloomberg) — A top Joe Biden campaign official highlighted the importance Democrats are placing on abortion access in the 2024 presidential election as a Florida court approved on Monday a statewide ballot initiative on reproductive rights.

“Donald Trump spends every single day bragging about the role that he played in overturning Roe v. Wade, talks about now wanting a national abortion ban,” Michael Tyler, Biden campaign communications director, said at a press conference Monday. “I think he’s about to find out with the latest example in states like Florida where we’re now going to have a ballot initiative where people are going to be able to fight back against the sort of extremism.”

The Florida Supreme Court ruled earlier Monday to allow a ballot initiative that would voters whether enshrine abortion access in the state’s Constitution. That measure is a political gift to Democrats who see it as a way to drum up visibility for a key issue and increase voter turnout in a state that has solidly supported Republicans in recent elections. 

The court also upheld a 15-week ban signed by Governor Ron DeSantis in 2022. That means a subsequent law prohibiting abortion after six weeks of pregnancy can soon go into effect.

The debate over abortion access has been a political quagmire for Republicans, many of whom find their support for restrictions increasingly out-of-step with the public. Voters have repeatedly affirmed support for reproductive rights in recent years on ballot initiatives in many Republican-leaning states, including Kansas, Kentucky and Ohio.

Read More: Democrats Go on Offense as IVF Leaves Republicans Vulnerable

Trump last month in a radio interview suggested he would support a national 15-week abortion ban with exceptions for rape, incest and life oF the mother, but stopped short of endorsing a specific plan.

The repeal of federal abortion rights is considered to be one of the reasons for Republicans’ underwhelming showing in the 2022 midterm elections. The party has shown little sign of landing on a salient message to voters. 

Democrats most recently seized on access to In vitro fertilization as a key vulnerability for Republicans before the November elections, after an Alabama court ruling that temporarily halted the fertility procedure.

–With assistance from Hadriana Lowenkron and Akayla Gardner.

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Published: 02 Apr 2024, 03:21 AM IST

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