With abortion on the ballot, political groups set their sights on Florida

ORLANDO, Fla. — Republicans and Democrats are both launching an expensive drive to get people to vote in November after the Florida Supreme Court ruled on Monday that an abortion amendment can go on the ballot.


If approved, the ballot initiative would ensure access to abortion in Florida up until fetal viability.

In a separate ruling, the court paved the way for Florida’s six-week abortion ban to take effect at the end of the month. Once that happens, nearly all abortions will cease in the southeastern United States.

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Political organizers in the state are already stepping up their ground game as they expect to spend millions of dollars over the next several months to educate and motivate voters.

The proposed amendment would prohibit any law from penalizing or delaying an abortion before viability, or if it’s necessary to protect a patient’s health.

However, in order to pass, 60-percent of voters will need to say yes in November.

“We’ve got to beat them at the ground game,” President and Founder of “Created Equal” Mark Harrington said. “That means we’ve got to knock on more doors and make more phone calls than they do.”

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Harrington says the proposed amendment is too extreme. He points to uncertainty around how fetal viability is defined, believing it could open the door to late-term abortions.

Meanwhile, Cheyenne Drews with “Progress Florida” says extreme laws already on the books are the real threat.

“We’re going to see just how bad it can get in these next few months,” Drews said, referring to Florida’s six-week ban on abortions set to become law at the end of the month. “Floridians understand this issue already, and they have seen the impact in other states that have passed similar bans, and just how far extremist politicians are willing to go to interfere with our personal medical decisions.”

Activists from both sides of the aisle say they’re taking lessons learned from other states where similar proposals have been on the ballot.

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Harrington previously worked to promote pro-life proposals in Ohio and Michigan ahead of similar ballot initiatives. In both states, voters upheld abortion rights with 56-percent of the vote.

Organizers on both sides say they plan on organizing fundraisers, going door-to-door, and running ads to encourage people to get to the poles in November.

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