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Vote Yes on 4 Rally
About 80 demonstrators rally Monday evening in West Palm Beach in support of the Amendment 4 initiative that would again allow abortions in Florida up to the point just before fetus viability.

By Paul Blythe

Evening rush-hour commuters leaving and returning to West Palm Beach Monday got a early, vivid reminder that one issue -- the right of women to control their own bodies -- will likely bring multitudes to Florida's polls in November.

About 80 supporters of women's rights lined the south side of Palm Beach Lakes Boulevard in front of Target from 5-7 p.m. chanting with bullhorns and waving signs to tell drivers that Florida's 6-week abortion ban is tyranny and they need to vote Yes on Amendment 4 to reverse that ban.

And the drivers were remarkably receptive. They honked, waved and gave thumbs up. Oh, one or two made rude gestures, but no one yelled a discouraging word, much less a profane one. Yes, many drivers ignored the crowd as they focused on getting home safely, but of the drivers who responded in any fashion, 99 percent were favorable.

On the other side of Palm Beach Lakes, there were representatives of the opposing view -- a whole two of them -- with anti-abortion signs. 80-2. How's that for a margin of victory to aim for in November?


The rally was held Monday because it is the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that had made abortion legal in all U.S. states for the next 49 years. But with the Dobbs v. Jackson decision of 2022, the Supreme Court opened the floodgates for states not only to regulate abortion as they pleased but to also enact major restrictions on other aspects of women's reproductive rights.

The fallout included the decision of Florida's Republican-controlled government to ban all abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy with very few exceptions for the health of the mother.

That ban prompted a citizens' initiative that put a proposal on the Nov. 5, 2024 ballot that, if passed by at least 60 percent of voters, would amend the Florida Constitution to say, "No law shall prohibit, penalize, delay, or restrict abortion before viability or when necessary to protect the patient's health, as determined by the patient's healthcare provider. This amendment does not change the Legislature's constitutional authority to require notification to a parent or guardian before a minor has an abortion."


Monday's rally, one of numerous Women's March Nation Day of Action events around the nation, was organized by Laura Lippo, a member of the North County Democratic Club of Palm Beach County, and it drew Democrats from throughout the county.

Among them were candidates, such as Thomas Witkop, the Gen Z Democrat who is waging a strong fight to unseat Rep. Brian Mast, a Trump loyalist and MAGA extremist, from Florida's Congressional District 21, and Rachelle Litt, the former Palm Beach Gardens mayor who is the Democratic candidate for the state House District 94 seat being vacated by the term-limited Republican Rick Roth. Other Democratic notables included Rolando Barrero, a West Palm Beach multi-media artist and president of the Democratic Hispanic Caucus of Florida, and several board members of the North County Democratic Club.


WPTV-Channel 5 News and a Reuters News Service photographer covered the event.

In a segment that aired both on Channel 5's 11 p.m. News and WFLX FOX29's 10 p.m. News, Lippo, when asked about the importance of the rally getting out the word that the abortion issue is on the Nov. 5 ballot in Florida, looked into the camera and said, "That's the most important thing right now because a lot of people don't realize there is a strict six-week ban her in Florida and that they have the opportunity to change that by voting yes on Amendment 4."




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