JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The landmark Roe v. Wade ruling Friday by the Supreme Court will have ripple effects. The issue is expected to change the way mid-term election campaigns are conducted this summer and fall.
Florida lawmakers passed a ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy earlier this year, which Gov. Ron DeSantis signed in April. That goes into effect July 1.
Those lawmakers have been in special legislative session twice this year, following their normal 60-day session in Tallahassee.
With the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe, there’s intrigue about whether the state would create more legislation this year.
“Well, I think it’s a little late in the election cycle for a special session. I could be wrong. But I did hear some mumblings about a special session to further reduce a woman’s access to health care and her decision to decide for herself what she wants to do,” said Democratic State Sen. Audrey Gibson.
Gibson and government law attorney Chris Hand spoke with me Friday.
That 15-week abortion ban passed this year faces at least two legal challenges, but is scheduled to start next Friday.
“That’ll be a big issue, that constitutional right to privacy, which Florida has in its state constitution. And also worth pointing out that constitutional right to privacy was passed by voters overwhelmingly in 1980,” Hand said.
Political analyst Rick Mullaney and City Councilwoman Brenda Priestly Jackson join me on This Week in Jacksonville.
Mullaney believes abortion instantly becomes an election issue and could help the president’s party.
“This is a big deal, for the Democrats in particular,” Mullaney said. “It’s potentially helpful in two ways: One is to motivate their voters and to motivate their base to turn out at the polls because elections are about turnout. But the second, and this is an opportunity, quite frankly, is to change the topic from inflation. Inflation for the Democrats right now is a loser and the economy is a loser. It’s a challenge.”
Jackson believes the Supreme Court ruling – and even the leak of the draft opinion this spring – has political implications.
“It should motivate folks to go out to the polls and vote because it’s, you know, you cannot be focused on inflation and you cannot be focused on all of these other abstract issues if you are not free to engage in our economy,” Jackson said.