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Legislators consider 6-week abortion ban; both parties have new leaders

Florida Senate
The Florida Senate.

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.


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.


* 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-printed rocket

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.


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Bridget O’Brien is an award-winning, versatile audio producer with more than eight years of experience in radio, audience engagement and storytelling across a diverse range of outlets. You can reach Bridget at bobrien@wjct.org.