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Expert: 'Abortion Measure Moving In Florida Legislature Could Backfire Against Gov. DeSantis'

MIAMI (CBSMiami) - Abortion is legal in Florida through the 24th week of pregnancy, but that number might soon shrink, as an issue that evokes a strong response from those who oppose it and those who are in favor of keeping it legal.

Abortion is arguably the most polarizing political issue of our time.

While some "pray to end abortion," those on the other side say they refuse to be "silenced."

In Florida, after years of trying, Republican state legislators and Governor Ron DeSantis, who hold a super-majority, are signaling they'll put a new law on the books this legislative session that would ban most abortions in Florida after 15 weeks of pregnancy with *no* exceptions for rape or incest.

When it comes to abortion, they seem to be leaning toward serving the interests of those opposing abortion.

"They are getting behind the idea of a 15-week ban, similar to what Mississippi has implemented," said Nova University Political Science professor Dr. Charles Zelden.

Mississippi has become ground zero for revisiting Roe V. Wade, the law of the land for nearly 50 years ago, giving women the constitutional right to have an abortion with some state-imposed limitations.

The newly conservative Supreme Court is set to rule on Mississippi's law this summer.

"If the Supreme Court backs 15-week ban, you can expect states across the nation to go to 15 weeks," said Zelden.

Zelden says Florida's decision to potentially impose a similar 15-week ban would not come without possible political consequences, especially for the governor himself.

"It could actually put pressure on DeSantis running for reelection, so it's a gamble," he said.

Dr. Zelden points out a 15-week abortion bill goes against the majority of voters in public opinion polls and could gin up support among angry Democrats.

"If people on the Democratic side feel they have lost rights they feel were established, the right for a woman to have an abortion, it could result in enormous energy flowing into the Democratic side," said Zelden.

Dr. Zelden said it would remain to be seen if that energy would translate into Democratic votes this pivotal election year.

He also points out most women don't even know they're pregnant at 15 weeks.

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