Florida Supreme Court Upholds 15-week Abortion Ban

By Jerry McConway, updated on April 2, 2024

In the last two election cycles, Democrats have put abortion top of mind, making it a vital issue on the ballot, and they have done so to the demise of the Republican Party.

Florida's Supreme Court may have just set the standard on this issue, but it gave Republicans a big win and possibly set the roadmap for a compromise in Congress.

Talking Points…
- Democrats use abortion as an election issue
- Florida Supreme Court ruling
- Analysis

Democrats Capitalize on Abortion in Elections

When Roe v. Wade was overturned, it was considered a big win for conservatives and pro-life advocates, but it was a loss in terms of political clout for the GOP. This was especially the case when some Republican governors tried to outlaw abortion altogether or had a very narrow window where abortions could be performed without penalty. Democrats used this issue to motivate their voting base in both 2020 and 2022, with abortion often considered the top issue along with inflation. This more or less offset voters' concerns about Joe Biden and Democrat policies. After the 2022 election cycle, KFF reported:

"About four in ten (38%) voters overall said that the Supreme Court decision ending the constitutional right to an abortion had a significant impact on their decision about whether to vote in this year's election.

"The share citing the decision as a major motivator was highest among Black women under age 50 (61%), Hispanic women under age 50 (58%), those who voted for Democratic Congressional candidates (56%), first-time voters (54%), voters under age 30 (53%), and those who said they were angry about the Supreme Court's abortion decision (55%)."

This was an issue that went across the aisle as well, as 13% of Republican voters considered this the most important factor of their votes, with it being 37% for Democrats. Clearly, this issue got people off the couch for Democrats, turning that red wave that was expected into nothing more than a ripple in 2022, as the GOP barely took the House and lost ground in the Senate.

Florida Supreme Court Ruling on Abortion

On Monday, Florida's Supreme Court ruled to uphold a 15-week abortion ban, which could be good news for the 6-week ban that Governor Ron DeSantis had already signed into law last year.

The court also ruled on a proposed abortion amendment with a ballot measure, which Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody had been fighting against. While stating that she will abide by the court's ruling, Moody believes the ballot measure is deceptive. The measure will read:

"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."

Katie Daniel, the Florida policy director for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, had filed a brief with the court on the matter, opposing the ballot measure. She explained:

"Not only will this measure bring dangerous late-term abortions back to Florida, but it will allow girls who aren't old enough to get their ears pierced on their own get an abortion without a parent's okay.

"Those girls and the women who have abortions will be put at risk when this measure eliminates every abortion health regulation on the books."

Analysis

The fact that the abortion restriction was upheld by the court is a clear win for Florida, but the ballot measure is a concern. That now means that DeSantis and Florida conservatives need to get out there to fully explain the ballot measure so voters are not confused by its wording.

Taking personal feelings out of the equation, Republicans have to get this issue settled, so they stop losing elections based on this one issue. The only way to do that is to get a law passed that will protect unborn children after viability and ensure that there are exceptions to the law for rape, incest, and the health of the mother.

If Republicans can at least propose a reasonable law, it will show voters they are trying on this issue. If the Democrats still object to the law and push late-term abortions, expose it and put them on the spot in debates over the issue. There has to be a compromise here that may not be ideal, but it will be one that will finally get this issue settled and remove one of the biggest weapons that Democrats have in their arsenal to win elections.

About Jerry McConway

Jerry McConway is an independent political author and investigator who lives in Dallas, Texas. He has spent years building a strong following of readers who know that he will write what he believes is true, even if it means criticizing politicians his followers support. His readers have come to expect his integrity.

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