Reproductive Rights News Roundup – August 11th 2023


Abortion rights keep winning on the ballot in conservative states — Florida and Arizona could be next
By Spencer Kimball
For the third time in a year, voters in a conservative state have shot down an attempt by Republicans to make constitutional changes that target abortion.

A Winning Streak: Ballot initiatives appear to be one of the few ways for advocates to expand abortion access in conservative states.
By David Leonhardt and Ian Prasad Philbrick
New York Times
Excerpt: The effort in Florida, where DeSantis signed a six-week abortion ban in April, is the furthest along. Organizers are on track to gather more than enough signatures to place the measure on the ballot next year. The measure would amend the state’s Constitution to legalize abortion until fetal viability (typically around 23 weeks of pregnancy) or later if the mother’s health is in danger. Florida law requires all citizen-initiated constitutional amendments to receive 60 percent of the popular vote to pass.

Playbook: The Dem divide over abortion and 2024
By Ryan Lizza, Eugene Daniels and Rachael Bade
Excerpt: In Florida, ANNA HOCHKAMMER, the vice mayor of Pinecrest and the executive director of the Florida Women’s Freedom Coalition, which is leading the effort to put a constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights on the 2024 ballot, told Playbook yesterday that her group is not interested in tying its message to the president or anyone else outside of Florida. “This is an entirely organic Floridian effort,” she said. “We need to save ourselves. Nobody is going to do it for us.” She eschews the idea promoted by Indivisible that these initiatives should be promoted as ways to boost Democratic turnout, which could turn off the many Republicans sympathetic to the cause.

Ron DeSantis Blames Absent Fathers for Abortions in Florida
By Caitlin Cruz
In an interview with NBC’s Dasha Burns on Monday, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) blamed absent fathers for abortions in his state—as if there couldn’t ever be any other reason a woman wouldn’t want to carry a pregnancy in Florida besides the lack of a male romantic partner.

DeSantis sticks by anti-abortion policy stance. To critics? They can ‘chirp,’ he says
By Maayan Schechter
South Carolina Public Radio
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday said people and groups can “chirp” all they want over his position that abortion restrictions work best from a “bottom-up” state approach.

Ron DeSantis claims there’s no ‘consensus’ on when abortion should be banned
By A.G. Gancarski
Florida Politics
Florida law bans abortion after the sixth week of gestation. But the Governor who would be President believes there’s not sufficient “consensus” to push to Make America Florida when it comes to the rights of the unborn.

Ron DeSantis softens abortion position for New Hampshire audience
By A.G. Gancarski
Florida Politics
Ron DeSantis spent the last two legislative sessions tightening Florida’s abortion law, but you wouldn’t know it from his choice-friendly comments in New Hampshire, where he again stressed he didn’t want to Make America Florida when it comes to reproductive rights.

DeSantis says he does not support punishments for women who violate abortion bans
By Lauren Sforza
The Hill
GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis said that he would not support punishments for women who violate abortion bans.

Activists gather in Delray Beach to push back on governor’s policies
By Gerard Albert  and Arianna Otero
WLRN Miami
Dozens of activists gathered at the South County Civic Center in Delray Beach on Wednesday night to rally against Gov. Ron DeSantis’ policies on abortion, the environment and gun control.

Tarpon Springs doctor suspended for performing abortion procedures without training, state says
By Libby Hendren and Jennifer Titus
WTSP Tampa Bay
A Tarpon Springs doctor was suspended for one year after the Florida Department of Health says he performed abortions on patients — something he was not trained or educated on how to do.

Florida Constitution needs a rewrite, but not by legislators
South Florida Sun Sentinel
Important lessons for Florida’s Legislature and Supreme Court can be drawn from the well-deserved drubbing that Ohio voters gave their lawmakers Tuesday.


Ohio Issue 1 fails: Big cities, suburban and many rural counties voted down issue
By Haley BeMiller
Columbus Dispatch
Issue 1 was projected to fail on Tuesday, according to Decision Desk HQ, dealing a blow to Ohio Republicans who wanted to hamstring a November ballot question on abortion rights.

Ohio’s Issue 1 would have made protecting abortion rights harder. Data shows why it failed
By Robert Yoon
Associated Press
Related: Things to know about a vote in Ohio, court action in Kansas and Utah and other abortion developments
Ohio voters rejected a proposal that would have made it more difficult for voters to amend the state constitution, including one measure set for the November ballot that would guarantee abortion rights in the state.

CNN Poll: Abortion’s role as an electoral litmus test hasn’t faded a year after Supreme Court decision overturning Roe
By Ariel Edwards-Levy
Americans’ discontent with the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade remains as potent as it was a year ago, according to a new CNN poll conducted by SSRS, with a record-high share of the public saying that they’re likely to take a candidate’s position on abortion into consideration when voting.

Abortion rights activists set their sights on Arizona after Ohio win
By Zach Montellaro
A top progressive group wants to build on the huge success Democrats are having with abortion-related ballot initiatives — this time in Arizona.

LaRose says “no reasonable person” is talking about banning contraceptives. But his allies are
By Marty Schladen
Florida Phoenix
As they push to make it a lot harder for voters to amend the Ohio Constitution, Frank LaRose and Mike Gonidakis say that no “reasonable person” is considering a ban on contraceptives.