Florida legislators consider a 6-week abortion ban, and both parties have new leaders
On this week's Florida Roundup: Florida’s 2023 legislative session kicked off this week, and the first measures include bills to further restrict the state’s abortion ban from 15 weeks after pregnancy to 6. We also talked with the new Democratic and Republican party chairs.
Florida’s 2023 legislative session kicked off this week, and the first measures included bills to further restrict the state’s abortion ban from 15 weeks after pregnancy to 6. The bills had been teed up for weeks as many Republican lawmakers seek to capitalize on the anti-abortion momentum following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade last summer.
Despite that ruling and the state’s 15-week ban, more people got abortions in Florida last year compared with the year before. There also was an influx in patients from out of state who came to Florida for abortions as other states in the region have enacted near-total bans on the procedure.
- Stephanie Colombini, health reporter for WUSF/Health News Florida.
New leadership for Florida’s major political parties
Florida's major political parties recently elected new leadership. The Florida Democratic Party elected Nikki Fried, former state agriculture commissioner. Fried faces a huge challenge after Democrats saw major losses in the 2022 midterm election that gave Republicans historic control of every statewide elected office in Florida, along with supermajorities in the state House and Senate.
Meanwhile, the Republican Party of Florida chose Christian Ziegler, former vice chair, to be the party's chairman heading into the 2024 elections.
- Nikki Fried, chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party.
- Christian Ziegler, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.
* During this segment, Christian Ziegler alludes to former Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and claims Northam supports “post-birth abortions.” For more context on that claim, the following fact-check is from Reuters:
Virginia governor’s 2019 comments about abortion bill are missing context
3D printing technologies could be the key to inexpensive space travel. That’s why all eyes were on the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on Wednesday to watch a rocket made almost entirely of 3D-printed parts take flight. That launch was delayed, but hope remains as plans to try again are in the works.
- Brendan Byrne, space reporter for WMFE.
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