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WUSF News is committed to covering the upcoming presidential election with a focus on the issues – and not the political horse race. WUSF is pairing with WMFE in Orlando to cover the 2020 presidential election with a specific focus on the I-4 Corridor. We will focus on the issues and topics that matter most to voters in this crucial region, who could sway the election.

National Pro-Life Group Announces Campaign To Reach Florida Voters

A red sign with a photo of Donald Trump says Most Pro Life President Ever.
The Susan B. Anthony List was in Tampa and Orlando Friday to canvass as part of their efforts to re-elect President Donald Trump, calling him the most pro-life president ever.

The day after Florida’s Senate voted on a controversial parental consent bill, a national pro-life group announced a multi-million dollar campaign that targets Florida voters in particular.

The Susan B. Anthony List was in Tampa and Orlando on Friday as part of their efforts to re-elect President Donald Trump, calling him the “most pro-life president ever.”

A group holds up for life signs.
Susan B. Anthony List and the Women Speak Out Pac joined members of Florida Family Action, the Life Issues Institute, Guiding Star Tampa LifeChoices Women's Care, and Students for Life Action to announce Donald Trump re-election campaign efforts in Florida. CREDIT: DAYLINA MILLER/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

They say their ground team has already visited more than 146,000 homes across the state, and their Women Speak Out PAC’s ad calling Democrats the “Party of Death” began airing Friday in a limited ad buy in those markets.

Jill Stanek, SBA List National Campaign Chair, said that in 2016: "We visited 500,000 voters and President Trump won by 112,000. So we helped him win. And then in 2018, we visited over a million voters and Senator Scott only won by 12,000 votes. And also Governor DeSantis won by just a few more.”

In addition to Florida, the field team is currently active in Arizona and North Carolina. The team plans an expansion to Iowa, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Wisconsin and says they will make four million visits to voters nationally overall before Election Day.

“Liberals and sometimes the media downplay the importance of abortion in an election, but it was very important to people in 2016,” Stanek said. “On election day, the most searched word by far was ‘abortion.’ And we are simply here to educate voters on where the candidates stand and where the president stands.”

The re-election effort includes boots on the ground, door-to-door canvassing, voter contact mail, phone calls, and paid advertising. The campaign is part of the organization’s overall $52 million budget for the 2019-2020 cycle.

“We’re asking people to connect their values and their convictions on this issue to the election itself, and to vote accordingly,” said John Stemberger, President of Florida Family Action.

The group also showed their support for a bill passed by the Florida Senate Thursday that would require minors to get parental consent for abortions.

A man stands at a podium with a sign that says I vote pro life.
John Stemberger, President of Florda Family Action, spoke alongside Susan B. Anthony List leaders Friday to announce a concerted effort to reach Florida voters to encourage re-election of Donald Trump. CREDIT: DAYLINA MILLER/WUSF PUBLIC MEDIA

RELATED: Parental Consent Bill Closer To Passage After Approval By Florida Senate

"You have to get permission from your parents before you get a tattoo, before you take aspirin, before you get your ears pierced,” Stanek said. “But yet, this invasive medical procedure that has life-changing implications for you, but also life-ending implications for a baby, is important for parents to be in on."

Opponents of the bill say it would give parents veto power over decisions by teens about whether to have abortions.

A similar law was struck down in 1989 by the Florida Supreme Court, finding that it violated a right to privacy in the state Constitution.

The bill has to make it through the Florida House before it heads to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk. He’s already said he will sign it into law.

I took my first photography class when I was 11. My stepmom begged a local group to let me into the adults-only class, and armed with a 35 mm disposable camera, I started my journey toward multimedia journalism.
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