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National Democrats gather to mobilize on abortion, warn of threats to IVF and contraception

Anthony Man, South Florida Sun Sentinel on

Published in Political News

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, organized the hearing not knowing exactly when or how the Florida Supreme Court would rule.

On Monday it OK’d a ban on almost all abortions after 15 weeks, a decision that automatically greenlights the coming six-week restriction. The Supreme Court also allowed the proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot.

In a statement issued Tuesday by the White House, President Joe Biden said the Florida Supreme Court’s “extreme decision puts desperately needed medical care even further out of reach for millions of women in Florida and across the South…. Florida’s bans — like those put forward by Republican elected officials across the country — are putting the health and lives of millions of women at risk.”

And the administration dispatched Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra to Fort Lauderdale to join the abortion-rights effort. “Women in America should not be living in medical apartheid,” Becerra said.

In a Biden campaign conference call, campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said the six-week ban could help mobilize voters.

“We do see more and more Americans sort of standing up and saying and declaring that they don’t want politicians interfering with some of these most personal decisions between them and their doctors, them and their families that we know are really critical,” she said.

 

That doesn’t mean Florida is seen as fertile political territory for Biden. “In terms of just Florida and the campaign, look, we’re clear-eyed about how hard it will be to win Florida,” Chavez Rodriguez said. “But we also know that Trump does not have it in the bag.”

Testimony

At the hearing, a range of witnesses brought forward personal stories about anything that interferes with an individual’s decision on whether to have an abortion, or on other reproductive health issues, such as IVF.

Deborah Dorbert, of Lakeland, described her harrowing experience that began with what seemed like a routine visit to her physician the day before Thanksgiving in 2022 when she was pregnant.

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