Florida's restrictive abortion ban goes into effect, Democrats seize on issue for 2024 campaign

According to Democrats, abortion will be a top issue that could potentially swing Florida their way in the 2024 election. 

Published: April 30, 2024 11:04pm

Updated: May 1, 2024 6:26pm

Florida's six week abortion ban will go into effect on Wednesday as Democrats gear up to use it as an opportunity to campaign and turn the state blue in the upcoming 2024 election. 

The ban includes exceptions for rape, incest, life of the mother and human trafficking instances.

Last year, the Florida state House passed a ban on abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and it was signed into law by GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis. DeSantis signed a 15-week ban in April of 2022, and later adopted a six-week ban that took effect just one month after a court upheld the 15-week ban.

The bill is called the "Heartbeat Protection Act," which DeSantis said he was proud to sign, saying it "expands pro-life protections and provides additional resources for young mothers and families.”

Pro-life groups such as Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America praised DeSantis for the legislation. 

Democratic Vice President Kamala Harris is going to Jacksonville following the ban going into effect and is expected to talk about "reproductive freedom," according to local media

“Far-left Democrats are targeting Florida in a desperate attempt to rally their base and rescue the failed Biden-Harris administration. The one strategy they think will save them in November is to lie and fearmonger about abortion and pro-life laws," SBA Pro-Life America’s state policy director Katie Daniel said.

According to polling from the nonprofit KFF, one in eight voters say abortion is an important issue for them and that they want it to stay legal. 

Harris has made trips to Florida and elsewhere prior to the six week ban going into effect to campaign on and discuss the issue of abortion. Harris has been outspoken about abortion rights and even went on a tour titled Fight for Reproductive Freedoms." She is also the first sitting vice president to ever visit a Planned Parenthood clinic and has been on the stump for this issue in Arizona, Georgia, Wisconsin and Michigan.  

According to Democrats, abortion will be a hot issue that could potentially swing Florida in 2024. 

"Our agenda, our coalition, and the unique dynamics this election presents make it clear: President Biden is in a stronger position to win Florida this cycle than he was in 2020," President Joe Biden's campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez wrote in a memo, according to ABC News

Florida is well known as a swing state with former President Barack Obama winning the Sunshine State in both 2008 and 2012 and former President Donald Trump winning in 2016 and 2020. Gov. Ron DeSantis won reelection in the 2022 gubernatorial race by almost 19 percentage points.  

Ever since the reversal of Roe v. Wade in 2021, Democrats have been running on the issue of abortion access. The issue has played a role in recent Republican losses in elections, including states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania and Virginia. 

Some Republicans have come out and said the GOP needs to get better at messaging on abortion if they want to win elections. 

"The issue is that a lot of Republicans want to put their head in the sand," former North Carolina GOP Chairman Michael Whatley said last year. "They don't want to talk about the issue, and I can assure you that Democrats are going to talk about abortion."

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