Will Abortion be the Biggest Voter Turnout Drive in November?

Will Abortion be the Biggest Voter Turnout Drive in November?

As Arizona and Florida debate abortion ballot initiatives, abortion is shaping up to be a top issue for the general election

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
April 10, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, FL—Just one week after Florida's Supreme Court allowed a 6-week abortion ban to take hold of the state, Arizona's Supreme Court has upheld a 123-year-old law barring all abortions except to save the mother's life, showing abortion may be the biggest drive for turnout in the November General Election.

Arizona's law, codified in 1901, requires a prison sentence of up to five years for abortion providers, though state Attorney General Kris Mayes said in a statement that she has no intention of enforcing the law, writing, "Let me be completely clear, as long as I am Attorney General, no woman or doctor will be prosecuted under this draconian law in this state."

With the state's only exception being to "save a woman's life", Arizona's ban is one of the strictest in the nation. Pro-abortion advocates are up in arms, with the group Arizona for Abortion Access announcing they have gathered enough signatures for a November ballot measure that would enshrine abortion access in the state's constitution.

Florida experienced a similar situation. After the Legislature passed a 15-week ban on the procedure in 2022, and a 6-week ban the year after, Sunshine State advocates collected over a million signatures to place the initiative on the ballot.

Following a challenge over "vague language" from Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, the Supreme Court allowed abortion to be placed on the ballot come November, though also upheld the 15-week ban—triggering the 6-week ban to go into place on May 1st.

"I think the Attorney General's argument was facetious," Anna Hochkammer, the Executive Director of Florida Women's Freedom Coalition, told The Floridian. "I've never heard the Attorney General argue that the language in a popularly generated constitutional referendum isn't confusing—that's what she argues about every statewide referendum."

"Florida is going to vote to protect abortion access," she continued, arguing that the issue of abortion will unite Floridians across party lines. This is crucial for Florida liberals, considering there are 900,000 more registered Republicans than Democrats in the state.

"It will cause an increased turnout of women, young people, and people who care passionately about personal freedom and freedom from government interference in our private lives."

Jayden D'Onofrio, the Chairman of the Florida Future Leaders PAC, agrees. "This is an issue of rights for people, and I think a lot of voters are going to recognize that and are going to turn out en masse on the issue," he told The Floridian. "You have two constitutional amendments on the ballot that are going to target voter turnout from voters that usually don't turn out."

Hardline Republicans, however, disagree, stating that Florida's abortion amendment is too radical to be allowed into the Constitution.

"Abortion on demand until time of birth is on the ballot this November in Florida," Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka wrote on X. "Extreme abortion activists are trying to deceive you. This amendment does not 'restore' Roe v. Wade. It seeks to completely deregulate abortion to enrich abortion providers."

Democrat's hope of reaching across party lines seems to have found its place in a strange source—former President Donald Trump. Trump, whose home state is Florida, has refused to speak on the state's 6-week ban, instead simply saying he believes abortion should be left up to the states.

His refusal to outright support the ban has led to a series of conservative infighting, with Trump's former Vice President Mike Pence calling Trump's statement a "slap in the face."

Questions remain: will Democrats be able to pull enough pro-abortion Republicans and NPAs to their side to enshrine abortion in the constitution? Will Arizona follow a similar path to Florida, potentially also voting on an amendment to protect abortion?

No matter what, abortion is placing itself front and center as a top issue for the General Election, and a candidate's view on the procedure may prove to be make or break for their campaign.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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