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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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Black voters in battleground states are a crucial voting bloc in 2024; Nikki Haley says she's voting for Trump in November; healthcare advocates suggest medical collaboration to treat fibroids; distinct vibes at IU Indianapolis pro-Palestinian protest.

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The House GOP moves to strike mention of Trump's criminal trial from the record, and his former rival Nikki Haley endorses him. Meanwhile, Ohio Republicans reject a legislative fix to ensure Biden's name appears on the November ballot.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

Florida Supreme Court clears abortion amendment for ballot

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Friday, April 5, 2024   

Reproductive-rights advocates see a silver lining in the Florida Supreme Court's recent decision.

The court upheld a 15-week ban, and a six-week abortion ban is set to go into effect next month. However, it also cleared the path for voters to decide on an amendment that would safeguard access to abortion until fetal viability, typically around 24 to 28 weeks of pregnancy.

Former state Rep. Carlos Lacasa, R-Miami, joined a coalition of GOP figures supporting the amendment, including former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll. Lacasa emphasized the importance of protecting both gun rights and privacy rights "because I believe that a woman's right to choose whether or not to carry a child is a very personal privacy matter, and as women's privacy rights go, so go all of our privacy rights."

Leaders of the Yes on 4 campaign hailed what they claim to be a bipartisan triumph, asserting that "personal medical decisions should be between Floridians and their doctors." The Florida GOP chair expressed disappointment, labeling the proposed amendment as "deceptively worded." The ballot measure would require approval from at least 60% of voters to pass.

Republicans' supermajority in the Florida Legislature enabled them to tighten abortion restrictions from 15 weeks to six starting in May. However, Lacasa believes the ballot initiative might cause a backlash against the conservative agenda.

"How much it will impact the election? I can't say, but it will definitely have an impact," he said. "It will definitely be more than zero percentage points swinging towards Democrats, especially down-ballot."

Gov. Ron DeSantis is critical of the amendment and has predicted its failure. Meanwhile, advocates for abortion access are gearing up for a Yes on 4 campaign launch in Orlando next weekend.

The amendment's language specifies that "no law shall hinder, penalize, delay or restrict abortion before viability or when deemed necessary to safeguard the patient's health, as determined by their health-care provider."


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