Election 2024: Biden Will Attack Florida's Six-Week Abortion Ban

Tampa, Fla. (AP) – President Joe Biden Donald Trump on Tuesday blamed Florida's impending abortion ban and other restrictions across the country. Unfettered access Taking care of pregnant women, Trump argues, has created a “health crisis for women across this country.”

Biden's campaign events at Hillsborough Community College in Tampa focused on the president The latest battle over abortion restrictions. The state's six-week abortion ban is set to take effect on May 1 at the same time. Florida voters are gearing up for the ballot It would enshrine abortion rights in state constitutions.

Biden said millions of women face “pain and cruelty.” “But it's not inevitable. We can stop it. If you vote, we can stop it.

The President is trying to capitalize on the relentless momentum against it Abortion restrictions across the country Not only boost his re-election bid in battleground states he won in 2020, but continue the offensive against Trump in states the Republican nominee won four years ago. One of those states is FloridaThere, Biden lost to Trump by 3.3 percentage points.

On Tuesday, she described growing medical concerns for women in the two years since the Supreme Court ended federal abortion protections.

“There was one person who was responsible for this nightmare,” Biden said. “He admits it, he brags about it— Donald Trump.”

Biden said Trump, who has been publicly vocal about his abortion views, was late Abortion is a matter for states to decideHe worries that voters will now hold him accountable.

“Guys, the bad news for Trump is that we're going to hold him accountable,” Biden said.

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At the same time, advocates on the ground say support for abortion access is eroding across parties. As they work to get at least 60% support from voters for the ballot initiative, they are intent on making the issue as nonpartisan as possible.

In some cases, Florida voters split their tickets by supporting GOP candidates while supporting abortion.

“I think the average person knows that a candidate campaign is really different than a referendum effort,” said Lauren Brenzel, campaign director of Floridians Protecting Freedom, which collected signatures to put the abortion question before voters. “You can vote for any political party candidate you want and still not agree with them on every point.”

Brenzel continued, “It gives voters an opportunity to get their message heard on a policy platform.”

The same day the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the ballot measure could go before voters, it also upheld the state's 15-week abortion ban. It cleared the way for the new ban to come into effect next week, after six weeks of pregnancy, before women even know they are pregnant.

Organizers of the abortion referendum campaign claim to have collected nearly 1.5 million signatures to put the issue before voters, though the state stopped counting at less than a million. Approximately 891,500 signatures were required. Of the total signatures, about 35% were registered Republican voters or unaffiliated with the party, organizers said.

If the abortion referendum initiative is labeled as a partisan effort, “it's going to be very challenging to get to 60%,” said Democratic state Rep. Anna Escamani. Escamani, who worked at Planned Parenthood before running for political office, said he would encourage the Biden administration to focus more broadly on the impact of the six-week ban and let the ballot measure speak for itself.

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“Ultimately, the ballot initiative is going to be a multi-million dollar campaign that stands very strongly on its own,” Escamani said.

Trump's campaign did not respond to a question about whether the former president, a Florida voter, would oppose or support the ballot measure. In an NBC interview last September, Trump called Florida's six-week ban “terrible.” But he has repeatedly singled out the three conservative-leaning justices he picked for the high court, clearing the way for them to replace Roe.

Republicans have rejected the Biden campaign and broader Democratic efforts to use abortion as a political maneuver, arguing that other issues will be more important to voters in November.

“The key issues for Floridians are immigration, the economy and inflation; Joe Biden has failed in all three areas,” said state Republican Party Chairman Evan Power. “Instead of talking to Floridians about manufactured problems, he needs to get to work solving the real problems that he has failed to address.”

Still, Trump and other Republicans know that voter backlash against increasing restrictions will be heavily responsible for the fallout.

Abortion rights supporters have won every time, including in staunchly conservative states like Kansas, Kentucky and Ohio. Last month, A A Democrat in a suburban state House district in Alabama He flipped the seat from Republican control by campaigning on abortion rights, and weeks later suspended in vitro fertilization services in the state.

State Democratic Party Chairwoman Nikki Fried said Florida will be a competitive state for the presidency “because of the extremism that has come out of Florida.” No Democrat has won the state at the presidential level since 2012, but state party officials have found some glimmers of political change in the vastly smaller races. Open Jacksonville mayoral race Last May, a once-Republican Democrat won.

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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, said at a news conference before the visit that the abortion amendment was written to intentionally mislead voters, an argument the state Supreme Court rejected when it approved the ballot language.

“All I can tell you is that Floridians are not buying what Joe Biden is selling, and in November we're going to be instrumental in sending him back to Delaware,” he said.

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Associated Press writers Brendan Farrington in Tallahassee and Colin Long in Washington contributed to this report.

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