The abortion story that could shift the tide in Florida

abortion protest signs ap
When a middle school-aged incest victim can't get an abortion in Florida, it resonates.

I’ve already said the race for Governor is over.

There’s just too much stacked against Democrat Charlie Crist to pull off an upset and flip the Governor’s Mansion blue for the first time since Buddy MacKay left office in 1999.

Polling is and has been on the incumbent Republican’s side. The GOP has the advantage in voter registration and is turning this longtime purple state more red by the minute. President Joe Biden put the nail in Crist’s coffin when he offered a non-endorsement endorsement for Gov. Ron DeSantis, praising his Hurricane Ian response efforts.

While I don’t think it will change the ultimate outcome, if anything can shift the nearly inevitable tide, it’s news this week of a young girl who was unable to terminate a pregnancy that resulted from incest.

As Buzzfeed first reported, an incest victim reportedly in middle school was unable to obtain an abortion in Florida because she was beyond the 15-week threshold allowable for the procedure in the state. Buzzfeed reported that Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida said the child had to travel “at least two, three states away” to terminate her pregnancy.

This is the type of news that gives Democrats the opportunity to blast Republicans up and down the ballot on an issue that is perhaps the most high-profile this cycle.

It’s easy to dismiss the abortion talk as rhetoric, until there is a middle school-aged student, subjected to abuse that resulted in an unwanted pregnancy, to make it a real-life tragedy.

As the top Republican in Florida, the buck stops with DeSantis. He signed the state’s latest abortion restriction, which provides exceptions for saving the mother’s life, preventing serious injury or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality, but not in cases of rape or incest.

There is no hiding from his role in shaping this restrictive legislation. There is no question about whether Republicans will maintain control of the Legislature — Republicans’ majority is too great to unwind in one cycle. So the only hope for those who want to protect a woman’s access to safe and legal abortion is to elect the only candidate for Governor who would veto further restrictions, and work to roll back the 15-week ban.

Public opinion is against DeSantis on the issue. A summer poll from the University of South Florida found that 57% of Floridians disagree with the U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade. Just 9% of Floridians favor an abortion ban without exceptions for rape or incest. Even with exceptions, only 21% support a ban. The poll found that just 15% of respondents favored a ban after 15-weeks gestation.

News of a child incest victim unable to obtain an abortion will, not surprisingly, do little to move the needle among Democrats, but it could shake things up among independents and, perhaps, moderate Republicans.

The USF poll found only 24% of independents approve of overturning Roe, and, while an overwhelming majority of Republicans support overturning Roe, 37% either don’t or don’t have an opinion. That leaves a large portion of nonpartisan or moderate voters to reach before Nov. 8 (there are more than 5 million voters each registered as Republicans or Democrats and more than 3.9 million with no party affiliation).

Democrats will likely (and if they don’t, that’s a whole other topic for discussion) lean into this news, blasting mailers and television ads from now until Election Day appealing to women, allied men, and parents, siblings, friends, etc. of young girls.

If they’re smart, they find a victim willing to speak out about how an abortion saved them from infinite despair after becoming pregnant by rape or incest.

We hear a lot about revictimization. It is not partisan to agree that forcing a victim to relive their attack is not a very compassionate route. Yet, under Florida’s law, victims impregnated through rape or incest have just a small window to end their pregnancies. It’s not a stretch to argue that subjects those victims to further trauma.

This is the sort of emotional story that captures people’s attention. And if Democrats found a willing survivor to tell their story, it might be on par with Florida’s First Lady taking to a political ad to share her heart-wrenching story about surviving cancer.

Except, she had access to health care; this young incest victim didn’t.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


  • Hope

    October 14, 2022 at 1:34 pm

    Biden’s abysmal record, inflation, the economy, National Security, gas prices, supply chain issues, border crisis, high crime rate are all ahead of abortion. Even Democrats will walk into the grocery store, walk out of the grocery store and walk in to their voting booth and vote Republican whether they admit it or not. The present economy is simply unsustainable under this current regime and voters will come out in droves to make a change.

    • Charlie Crist

      October 14, 2022 at 2:10 pm

      Exaggerated nonsense… nobody buying what you are selling except for other stupid people.

    • marylou

      October 14, 2022 at 3:08 pm

      WTF is wrong with you Hope? These are children. Aren’t you capable of having empathy or thoughts for anyone but YOUR NARCISSISTIC SELF? POS comment

  • Earl Pitts American

    October 14, 2022 at 2:05 pm

    Good Afternoon America,
    Sniff Sniff this smells alot like an attempt to get National Media to glom on to a very fake and very desperate “fake October Suprise” which got it’s fake begining on a slow news Friday from an obsure little online blog based out of Florida.
    I understand Peter its just Politics. And in today’s leftist national media total melt down over the fast approching red midterm wave I say kudos to you Peter for using your platform to try to launch your political passion of a Crist win.
    Let’s both sit back and see if its picked up by National Media and given wings.
    I ask the fellow commenters to give us their odds on this growing into a Stud or a Dud.
    Anyway good Hail Mary Peter.
    Thank You America,
    Earl Pitts American

  • Tom

    October 14, 2022 at 3:23 pm

    Biden’s Florida disapproval has dropped to 37%,
    Per Morning consult.

    Abortion is not a top 5 issue. Inflation, jobs, immigration, education, nuclear Armageddon.

    Joe Corsin is clueless. The Dems, liberal media want to hype abortion and this nonsense of threat to Democracy.

    The wave is building with 3 weeks to go.

  • Anthony Ruehle

    October 14, 2022 at 3:29 pm

    Interesting how they always bring up rape and incest for excuses to do Abortions. You never hear them talk about them until they claim it is being stopped by the governor. If there were this many cases of rape and incest the jails would be overflowing. Medical personnel used to be mandatory reporter of crime against children. So why are they now not reporting all this incest? Like I have ask many time they also always say her body her choice. My question is if that is so then why is prostitution illegal, HER BODY HER CHOICE RIGHT. Also why can you not sell your body parts, it is illegal in the whole United States. Your body so you should be able to sell your kidney or liver or any other body part to make money. So why can you not sell your kidney to get money to feed or house your family? Your body your choice. PROVE ME WRONG.

    • marylou

      October 14, 2022 at 8:41 pm

      * A child shouldn’t need an “excuse” to prevent the government from forcing her to become a mother. Interesting how anti-abortionists think girls need men’s approval for healthcare.
      * Rape and incest were brought up because that’s what caused the girl’s pregnancy.
      * “claim”?? The governor’s cruel abortion ban DID deny the middle school girl an abortion in Florida.
      * If there were arrests and prison sentences for all rapes and incests the jails WOULD be overflowing. Most DNA evidence, witness statements, and victim exam evidence are sitting in dusty boxes on police shelves. And many children don’t feel that it’s safe to report that their father is raping them. You want kids to get a ride from rapist Daddy to the police station?
      * Medical personnel are mandatory reporters, and did report the incest.
      * “all this incest” Number of incests or rapes is irrelevant to the right to not be forced to become a mother.
      * If it is really your right to choose to get a cast put on your broken leg, why is prostitution illegal? If it’s your right to choose whether to receive a kidney transplant, why can’t I sell you a kidney? So, there’s your proof that you really don’t have a right to choose for your own body! You will have to use crutches to get to your dialysis appointments. YOUR BODY, MY CHOICE!

      It’s sad that anyone could be so hostile toward a child. Unfortunately, some men resent a woman’s right to choose what she does with her own body and life, even when she’s just 11 years old.

  • PeterH

    October 14, 2022 at 4:07 pm


    If Americans want women to control their own bodies, qualified teachers to replace DeSantis’s culture wars in classrooms, intelligent teacher-student conversations concerning the social issues facing Americans in the 21st century, non-bullying discussion about classroom students who are different, common sense gun regulations, and a new honest approach on how best to address climate change……

    • Tom

      October 14, 2022 at 5:14 pm

      Shut the hell up you Lincoln towel boy, peter h. Stop using caps, we don’t work for you, you loser! Use proper spelling.

      Agree with Anthony and Earl, Earl great to see your name, been awhile.
      Stay engaged.

      Yes, these fake denied. stories are relentless.

  • L Pierce

    October 16, 2022 at 11:55 am

    Shame on Republican legislators and Gov DeSantis for restricting abortion rights when incest and/or rape are involved. Especially for underage victims. The 15 week provision is also objectionable. House of Delegates actions ignore Floridian’s public opinions.
    Listen to the voters and be responsive to their cry.

  • Ocean Kilroy

    October 16, 2022 at 7:02 pm

    Didn’t realize there was so much incest until this stuff came up… starting to wonder if most pregnancies are from incest or rape from now on… When I see a pregnant women I’m gonna think she was raped by her uncle…. because that’s what the liberals have taught me…

  • Sarah Robinson

    October 22, 2022 at 11:59 am

    DeSantis is such a hypocrite: only in the “Free State of Florida” are women not free to make personal medical decisions, teachers not free to teach about history or identity, voters not free to know if they are on a restricted list or not, local school boards not free to protect life during pandemics, elected State Attorneys not free to exercise their First Amendment Right of Free Speech if the Snowflake Governor is offended by his words, etc….

Comments are closed.


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Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

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