What the Florida abortion rulings mean for Biden

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 The Big Story 

A pair of rulings from the state Supreme Court simultaneously upheld Florida’s 15-week abortion ban and greenlit a ballot measure to enshrine protections in the state constitution, offering a potential boost to Biden and Democrats in the state.

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Biden’s reelection campaign announced just after the Florida decisions came down Monday that it’s targeting the Sunshine State, which went to former President Trump in 2016 and 2020, for a flip in the fall.


The president bashed the “extreme decision” to affirm the 15-week ban — which also gave the greenlight for an even stricter six-week ban to take effect on May 1, banning abortion at a point of gestation before many women know they are pregnant.


“We remain steadfast in our commitment to protecting reproductive freedom in Florida and across the nation and will continue to call on Congress to pass a law restoring the protections of Roe v. Wade in every state,” Biden said in a statement.


At the same time, the Florida court also gave the all-clear for a ballot initiative that would, through an amendment to the state constitution, protect abortion up to the point of fetal viability. Voters will get to weigh in on the measure in November.


Democrats in Florida say the looming six-week ban and the ballot measure both raise the stakes for November’s election, and could energize voters to turn for pro-choice candidates up and down-ballot.


The Hill’s Julia Manchester and Julia Mueller dive into how the abortion rulings could galvanize voters and give a leg up to former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel Powell (D) in her Senate race against incumbent Sen. Rick Scott (R).


On Tuesday, Mucarsel Powell’s campaign released a memo calling the ruling a “gamechanger” in the Senate race, and Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried said Democrats plan to run on the issue.


The developments could also boost Biden as he looks to flip the state, giving the incumbent a more offensive position and forcing Trump to fight for a red-leaning state he may not otherwise have had to.


“Make no mistake: Florida is not an easy state to win, but it is a winnable one for President Biden, especially given Trump’s weak, cash-strapped campaign, and serious vulnerabilities within his coalition,”  Biden campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez said in a statement.


Meanwhile, Trump has teased that he’ll make a “statement next week on abortion” in the wake of the the Florida decisions.


Read more about the Biden campaign’s plans to flip Florida from The Hill’s Alex Gangitano.


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