The vice president is visiting Jacksonville for a campaign rally and will speak out against Florida's new six-week abortion ban

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Vice President Kamala Harris will be in Jacksonville on Wednesday to speak against Florida's new six-week abortion ban, which went into effect at midnight.

Calling the ban “extreme,” Harris will speak at a campaign event at the Prime Osborn Convention Center at 2:45 p.m.

Six weeks pass before most people find out they are pregnant. That's why opponents say Florida's new law is essentially a near-total ban. There are exceptions for cases of rape or incest or to save the life of the pregnant person.

Florida's abortion ban is expected to increase voter turnout this November, and the Biden-Harris campaign wants to make it clear that abortion is on the ballot in Florida this year in two ways: in the race for the White House and in the form of a proposed constitutional amendment.

The proposal states: “No law shall prohibit, penalize, delay or restrict an abortion before it is viable or when it is necessary to protect the health of the patient, as determined by the patient’s health care provider.”

If 60% of voters support Amendment 4, the right to abortion would become a constitutional right in the state of Florida. Gov. Ron DeSantis is against it.

Last year, he signed the six-week abortion ban, but it did not take effect because it was held up in court because of legal challenges related to the state's 15-week abortion ban. The Florida Supreme Court upheld the ban last month, allowing the six-week rule to take effect on May 1.

Harris said Florida's new law is one of the reasons she is traveling to Jacksonville on Wednesday.

She is expected to shift the blame to former President Donald Trump, who she says will sign a nationwide abortion ban if elected.

Trump recently said he would leave the matter to the states.

Ahead of the vice president's visit, the campaign released a preview of her speech.

It says, in part: “This ban applies to many women before they even know they are pregnant – which shows us that the extremists who wrote this ban don't even know how a woman's body works.” Or they just don’t care.”

The group Students for Life of America plans to hold a rally Wednesday from 10:30 a.m. to noon in front of the Planned Parenthood facility on Powers Avenue.

News4JAX will be providing extensive coverage of the protests and Harris' visit throughout the day.

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Anna Harden

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