Debbie Mucarsel-Powell pounces on abortion rulings as ‘game changer’ in Senate race

Voters don’t want a restriction on nearly all abortions in Florida, according to Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Debbie Mucarsel-Powell. She expects voters this November to make that clear by firing Republican U.S. Sen. Rick Scott.

The Miami Democrat spoke to Florida Politics the morning after a court ruling upholding a ban on most abortions 15 weeks into pregnancy. That decision also triggered a more restrictive ban on most abortions six weeks into pregnancy, which will go into effect 30 days after the ruling. Mucarsel-Powell voiced outrage over the law, which she called a political “game changer.”

“It’s one of the most extreme bans on abortion, really a totally near ban on access to reproductive health care, which is going to put tens of thousands of women here in the state and also in the Southeast region at risk,” she said.

“I’m concerned that it’s going to compromise the safety of young woman. It has hardly any exceptions to rape and incest. Also, we have seen a rise in maternal mortality rates, particularly for Black women.”

But she also sees hope in the court’s approval of a ballot measure that would effectively restore abortion access in Florida to that guaranteed before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022.

“It is going to be more important than ever to make sure that we all come out and vote to cement reproductive freedoms into the state constitution,” Mucarsel-Powell said.

For the Democrat, the political effort to gather petitions and put abortion protections on the ballot was the most important organizing success.

“Over a million and a half Floridians signed on to those petitions requesting for that amendment to be placed on the ballot,” she said. “That includes over 150,000 Republican registered voters. So that structure that’s on the ground is there. It’s already been built.”

Democrats still face a substantial challenge in defeating Scott. The incumbent won in 2018 by just over 10,000 votes. But that was against a Democratic incumbent when registered Democrats still outnumbered Republicans statewide. Right now, Republicans in Florida outnumber Democrats by more than 800,000 votes, and analysts on both sides say that gap could grow to more than 1 million before November.

But Mucarsel-Powell said those Republicans don’t all embrace Scott’s “extreme” agenda. Nor do nearly 3.9 million independent and third-party voters.

“I have had many Republicans, independents as well, that come to my events that say they are ready to vote for someone that represents them in D.C.,” she said. “They’re done with extreme policies, those that are being pushed by Rick Scott in Washington.”




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