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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

Bishop also told the lawmakers that federal protections for abortion rights are needed. “My patients need your help.”

Bishop said women would “absolutely” die as a result of Florida’s ban on most abortions after six weeks if women are forced to continue potentially dangerous pregnancies.

Bishop said the restrictions would have “profound implications for medical education.” Some prospective doctors will go to other states for training, not wanting their education limited.

Democrats framed the issue as one of “extreme Republicans” meddling in decisions that should be between women and their doctors.

“Right-wing MAGA extremist politicians in Tallahassee inflicted an abortion ban on Florida women,” Wasserman Schultz. “They want to insert themselves in our most personal difficult health care decisions.”

The audience of about 125 people was mostly invited Democrats and congressional staffers. Besides the members of Congress — including Floridians Kathy Castor, Maxwell Frost, Jared Moskowitz and Darren Soto — several Democratic state senators and representatives were present.

The all-Democratic congressional hearing was technically official government business. Jeffries and Wasserman Schultz said it wasn’t a partisan effort.

“Our concern at this moment is not electoral politics,” Jeffries said.

Faulting Republicans

Democrats faulted former President Donald Trump for nominating the Supreme Court justices who provided the votes needed for the court’s conservative bloc to overturn the Roe v. Wade decision that had guaranteed abortion rights in the U.S. for five decades.

“‘Donald Trump cannot run, cannot hide from the fact that he appointed three justices with the intent that he achieved by overturning Roe v. Wade and tearing away women’s reproductive freedom and forcing the government in the midst of deeply private personal health care decisions,” Wasserman Schultz said.

U.S. Rep. Jared Moskowitz, D-Parkland, pointed to the three most recent state Supreme Court justices appointed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

They voted to uphold the ban on almost all abortions after six weeks, and voted against allowing the proposed constitutional amendment on the Florida ballot.

He said that is “telling about where the Supreme Court is going,” and suggested voters remember, and express their disapproval of the justices when they are up for retention votes in the November election.

Republicans respond

 

Republicans dismissed the Democrats’ predictions of doom.

“We agree with the three women on the Court who got it right in dissent. This amendment is misleading and will confuse voters. The language hides the amendment’s true purpose of mandating that abortions be permitted up to the time of birth,” Julia Friedland, the governor’s deputy press secretary, said via email.

Evan Power, chair of the Florida Republican Party, said Democrats are the ones with an extreme agenda.

“The only thing extreme about Florida Republicans is the amount of winning we do. This was an issue in 2022 and Republicans won by record numbers. This is just a sad attempt for Democrats to try and fake enthusiasm for their radical agenda that has seen them be on the losing end of a shift” of voters moving away from the Democratic Party and toward the Republican Party, Power said via text.

Florida state House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, said the proposed constitutional amendment is not what it seems.

“Abortion activists have spent millions putting an extreme amendment on Florida’s ballot,” he said in a statement. “Amendment 4 would make Florida’s abortion laws more liberal than countries throughout Europe and eliminate existing laws that most people on both sides of the abortion issue agree on — like parental consent for minors and any restrictions on late-term abortions. We are confident that when the people of Florida learn what this amendment does, they will vote NO on Amendment 4.”

Democrats said Renner was exaggerating the effects of the amendments.

State Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka, R-Fort Myers, said Monday in a news conference after the Supreme Court’s rulings that people need to “have the conversation about how extreme this amendment truly is. … This amendment rolls us back to the dark ages before advancements in science and medicine before Roe vs. Wade. It is broad. It is far-reaching. It is dangerous. It is wrong for Florida.”

U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, a Central Florida Democrat, predicted voters — especially women — would respond differently in November.

“The Florida Supreme Court slammed the door shut on reproductive freedom for millions of Florida women,” he said. “But then they handed the keys over to women to decide in November.”

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(Staff writer Abigail Hasebroock contributed to this report.)

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©2024 South Florida Sun Sentinel. Visit at sun-sentinel.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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