Fox News 2024-04-03 10:03:53


Death toll rises after massive quake strikes tiny nation, over 800 injured, dozens trapped

An earthquake rocked the entire island of Taiwan early Wednesday, killing nine, injuring hundreds, collapsing buildings in a southern city and sparking a brief tsunami warning for southern Japanese islands.

Taiwan’s fire department said nine people have died in the mountainous, sparsely populated eastern county of Hualien, where the earthquake’s epicenter was located. More than 800 people were injured in the incident and authorities lost contact with 50 people aboard four minibuses heading to a hotel in a national park.

At least 26 buildings have collapsed, with more than half in the city of Hualien. Nearly 80 people were trapped as rescue work continued, the government said. Fire authorities said about 60 of the people trapped were caught in a tunnel just north of Hualien city.

Fire authorities said they were slowly evacuating some of the people trapped in the tunnel.

EARTHQUAKES IN JAPAN KILL AT LEAST 48 AS OFFICIALS RACE TO SAVE PEOPLE TRAPPED IN HOMES

Video and images on social media showed buildings shaken off their foundations. A five-story building in lightly populated Hualien appeared heavily damaged, collapsing its first floor and leaving the rest leaning at a 45-degree angle.

In the capital, Taipei, tiles fell from older buildings and within some newer office complexes.

The U.S. Geological Survey put the 9.6 mile quake at a 7.5 magnitude, while Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring agency gave it a magnitude of 7.7, up from 7.5 earlier. The effects of the earthquake were felt as far away as Kinmen, a Taiwanese-controlled island off the coast of China, said Wu Chien-fu, the head of Taiwan’s earthquake monitoring bureau.

A tsunami warning was issued for coastal areas of southwestern Japan’s Miyakojima and Yaeyama regions and the main island of Okinawa, Japanese public broadcaster NHK World reported. Waves had reached some areas and were more than 9 feet high. 

Train service across the island of 23 million people was suspended. In Taipei, children were seen going to school and the morning commute appeared normal.

The U.S. National Tsunami Warning Center initially said it was reviewing the earthquake to determine whether a tsunami was a threat to the West Coast states of California, Oregon and Washington, as well as Alaska and the Canadian province of British Columbia.

“Tsunami NOT expected,” the agency posted on X minutes later.

JAPAN MARKS FUKUSHIMA NUCLEAR DISASTER 13 YEARS LATER, PLEDGES TO RECOVER ‘AT ANY COST’

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Hawaii’s Emergency Management Agency also said there was no tsunami threat to the state.

The quake was believed to be the biggest in Taiwan since a temblor in 1999 caused extensive damage. Taiwan lies along the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” a line of seismic faults encircling the Pacific Ocean where most of the world’s earthquakes occur.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report. 

Trump vows to create new holiday after Biden issues trans proclamation for Easter Sunday

Former President Trump vowed to create a “Christian Visibility Day” following President Biden’s declaration of “Transgender Day of Visibility,” which happened to land on Easter Sunday this year.

“And what the h— was Biden thinking when he declared Easter Sunday to be trans visibility day?” Trump asked his supporters during a campaign rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin on Tuesday. “Such total disrespect to Christians.”

The presumptive Republican nominee for president promised that Nov. 5 would be “Christian Visabiliy Day” if he is elected.

“And on November 5th, it is going to be called something else. You know, it’s going to be called Christian Visibility Day,” Trump said to thunderous applause. 

TRUMP DEMANDS BIDEN ISSUE APOLOGY OVER ‘BLASPHEMOUS’ TRANS VISIBILITY DAY ON EASTER SUNDAY: ‘APPALLING’

Trump’s comments came after President Biden celebrated “Transgender Day of Visibility,” which is recognized March 31, and this year fell on Easter Sunday.

BIDEN SLAMMED ON SOCIAL MEDIA AFTER ANNOUNCING TRANSGENDER DAY OF VISIBILITY ON EASTER SUNDAY 

Biden has faced backlash after his annual day to honor the transgender movement fell on Easter Sunday, one of the most important and holiest days for Christians, as they celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

Trump’s national press secretary, Karoline Leavitt, previously called the “Trans Day of Visbility” “appalling and insulting.”

Leavitt said the president’s announcement is an example of the Biden administration’s “years-long assault on the Christian faith.”

The White House issued a statement saying the criticism over ‘Transgender Day of Visibility’ coinciding with Easter was divisive.

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“As a Christian who celebrates Easter with family, President Biden stands for bringing people together and upholding the dignity and freedoms of every American,” read the statement. “Sadly, it’s unsurprising politicians are seeking to divide and weaken our country with cruel, hateful, and dishonest rhetoric. President Biden will never abuse his faith for political purposes or for profit.”

Famed Vegas resort that had questionable ties will be destroyed to open new ballpark

One of Las Vegas’ longest-standing and most historic hotels is shuttering its doors after nearly 67 years to make room for a new Major League Baseball stadium.

Tropicana Las Vegas closed on Tuesday, just shy of its 67th. anniversary.

Demolition is slated for October to make room for a $1.5 billion Major League Baseball stadium.

The hotel, which opened on the iconic Las Vegas strip on April 4, 1957, was nicknamed the “Tiffany of the Strip” for its opulence

PINBALL HALL OF FAMES OFFERS 25-CENT FAMILY FUN ON THE LAS VEGAS STRIP, DONATED $1.2M TO CHARITY IN 2023

When it was built in the late -1950s, the Tropicana cost $15 million to build. It was three stories with 300 rooms split into two wings, creating a footprint shaped like the letter “Y.”

Later, the Tropicana underwent two major hotel expansions: The Tiffany Tower opened in 1979 with 600 rooms. 

It was renamed the Paradise Tower. In 1986, the Island Tower opened with 800 rooms.

Behind the scenes at the opulent Tropicana opening, the hotel had close ties with famed mobster Frank Costello. 

Weeks after Tropicana debuted, Costello was shot in the head in New York. He survived, but police found in his coat pocket a piece of paper with the Tropicana’s exact earnings figure. 

The note also mentioned “money to be skimmed” for Costello’s associates, according to a post on The Mob Museum’s website looking back on the Tropicana’s storied past.

REMAINS OF ‘LOST ALASKANS’ SENT TO OREGON MENTAL HOSPITAL A CENTURY AGO ARE RECOVERED, RETURNED HOME

By the 1970s, federal authorities investigating mobsters in Kansas City would charge more than a dozen mob operatives with conspiring to skim nearly $2 million in gambling revenue from Las Vegas casinos, including the Tropicana. Charges connected to the Tropicana alone resulted in five convictions.

In 1959, the Tropicana debuted a risqué show which featured topless feathered showgirls.

The cabaret was featured in the 1964 Elvis Presley film “Viva Las Vegas.” Magicians Siegfried Fischbacher and Roy Horn got their start in the show, as did Lance Burton.

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A portion of “The Godfather” was filmed at the Tropicana and in the 1971 film “Diamonds Are Forever,” James Bond stays there.

“I hear that the Hotel Tropicana is quite comfortable,” Bond said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Louisiana gov calls for change after LSU women’s basketball team skips national anthem

Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry urged state officials to enact a policy that requires student-athletes to be present for the national anthem after the LSU women’s basketball team received harsh backlash for missing the national anthem before its regional final game against Iowa Monday night. 

The Republican governor became the latest figure to call out the Tigers for being noticeably absent during the national anthem. 

“My mother coached women’s high school basketball during the height of desegregation, no one has a greater respect for the sport and for Coach [Kim] Mulkey,” Landry wrote in a post on X.  

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“However, above respect for that game is a deeper respect for those that serve to protect us and unite us under one flag!

“It is time that all college boards, including Regent, put a policy in place that student athletes be present for the national anthem or risk their athletic scholarship! This is a matter of respect that all collegiate coaches should instill.”

A video from OutKick’s Dan Zaksheske showed Iowa players on the court holding hands during “The Star-Spangled Banner.” LSU had left the court right before the anthem was played.

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LSU WOMEN’S BASKETBALL COMES UNDER SCRUTINY FOR MISSING NATIONAL ANTHEM BEFORE GAME VS. IOWA

Mulkey said after the loss to Iowa her team’s absence was “routine.” 

“Honestly, I don’t even know when the anthem was played,” Mulkey said, via OutKick. “We kind of have a routine when (our players are) on the floor, and they come off at the 12-minute mark (prior to the game).”

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According to nola.com, neither USC nor UConn were present for the national anthem before their Elite Eight game Monday night. 

The Tigers haven’t been present for the national anthem all season, and they were not present for it during last year’s national championship.

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‘American Idol’ contestant has awkward tiff with judge Luke Bryan

American Idol” is heating up with so much drama this season.

On Sunday’s episode, which culminated in the final 24 contestants moving forward to the next round, judge and country crooner Luke Bryan got into a tiff with contestant Madaí ChaKell, 22. The singer took issue with his commentary, choosing to mock his Southern accent at the end of her performance.

To understand the palpable awkwardness of Sunday’s episode, you would have needed to see ChaKell’s original audition. During the first round, she and Bryan first clashed over her eccentric performance of Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl,” which she performed in multiple genres.

KATY PERRY DEFENDED BY FELLOW ‘AMERICAN IDOL’ JUDGE LUKE BRYAN AFTER HARSH FAN CRITICISM: ‘WE GET SET UP’

Before she started singing, ChaKell hinted that she could imitate accents and change her tone of voice.

“I think you’re still a year or two away [from] really perfecting who you are as the individual artist,” Bryan told the Massachusetts native. 

“I think you’re just trying to grab people’s attention,” Perry, also a judge, added. “So you want to grab it, and then you want to hold it.” 

Although Bryan didn’t vote her through to Hollywood, she had the support of Perry and Lionel Richie, which earned her a spot in the next round.

On Sunday’s episode, with the contestants now in Hollywood, host Ryan Seacrest asked ChaKell what she was “doing to impress Luke.” 

“I definitely tapped more into myself since he said I probably didn’t really know who I was. So I did some more digging and found more of her,” she explained. 

In a confessional, ChaKell said she wants “to prove to Luke that I’m a true performing artist.”

But things didn’t go as planned, with ChaKell not meshing with her provided accompaniment. Singing Ariana Grande’s song “Tattooed Heart,” she asked the pianist to start the song over again before completely dismissing them. “Okay, we’re gonna do this acapella because that’s not flowing the way we practiced,” she announced.

Once she finished, Bryan asked ChaKell if she “was feeling okay” and if her “voice was 100%.”

“Not to where I would like it,” she responded. 

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“Obviously, I don’t know what went on in rehearsals, but [a] lot of stuff going on up there. It was a little shaky in some spots, but thanks for performing for us,” he told her before she walked off-stage. 

The audio then cut to a distraught ChaKell explaining what went wrong. 

“My pianist completely just flipped the script on what we practiced. They also tried to play the card, ‘Is your voice okay?’ What do you think? I was shaky… Look what you all just did! Is your voice okay, Luke? I haven’t heard you sing,” she countered.

Producers ultimately gave her a second chance, allowing her to perform one more time.

“It’s great to have you back, and we understand all the dynamics of it now, and we’re glad that you get another opportunity,” Bryan told the 22-year-old. “And like I said, in this moment, your moment, we want you in the most comfortable situation possible.”

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Without skipping a beat, ChaKell shared what would make her more comfortable. 

“Okay, so with that being said, can I have a chair perhaps? Cause I’m getting a little bit shaky,” seemingly referring to Bryan’s earlier commentary. ChaKell then commenced with her performance, singing her final lyric, ‘heart,’ with an overt country twang.

“Why the ‘heart’ that way?” Bryan asked. 

“You know,” she began, with a British accent. “You know, you said something before. You were like, ‘I don’t really know who I am quite yet.’ So I wanted to show you that I can be everyone and everything. Isn’t that what an ‘American Idol’ is?”

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“Maybe we’ll do ‘American Humble’ at some point,” Bryan retorted as she walked off-stage again. 

“Probably not winning the audience for that one,” he added.

“I am proud of the moment because I just feel like it definitely showed my boss energy. But yeah, it is what it is,” ChaKell told the cameras.  

Ultimately, she did not earn a spot in the top 24. 

A representative for Bryan did not immediately respond to Fox News Digital’s request for comment. “American Idol’s” 22nd season airs on Sundays and Mondays.

Boxing legend Mike Tyson says he’s ‘scared to death’ to fight Jake Paul

Mike Tyson has accomplished just about everything a boxer could in the sport – his next opponent in Jake Paul has just 10 professional bouts.

Tyson is in the conversation as the best boxer of all-time – on the contrary, while Paul has his eyes set on becoming a world champion, he certainly has a long way to go.

But the butterflies are alive and well, even for the “Baddest Man On The Planet,” who admits he is “scared to death” about his fight with the former YouTuber.

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“I have a weird personality – I don’t think it’s weird though. Whatever I’m afraid to do, I do it. That’s how it is,” Tyson told Sean Hannity on Tuesday night. “I was afraid of the Roy [Jones Jr. fight [in 2020]. 

“I was 100 pounds overweight, I was however old, 54, 53, and I said ‘Let’s do it.’ Anything I’m afraid of, I confront it. That’s my personality. Right now, I’m scared to death.”

But that’s what pushes Tyson to get back in the ring.

“I always believed that adversity and nervousness pretty much catapulted me into success. If I didn’t have these feelings, I wouldn’t go into this fight. I have to have these feelings to fight. Without them, I would never go in the ring.”

EX-UFC STAR SAYS MIKE TYSON’S TRAINING VIDEO FOR JAKE PAUL FIGHT IS ILLEGITIMATE

However, when “reality” sets in, Tyson will be all business, and the butterflies will float away.

“As the fight gets closer, the less nervous I become, because it’s reality. And in reality, I’m invincible.”

Tyson says Paul has come “a long way from YouTubing.”

“I saw a YouTube of him at 16 doing weird dances. That’s not the guy I’m gonna be fighting,” he said. “This guy is gonna come, he’s gonna try to hurt me, which I’m accustomed to, and he’s gonna be greatly mistaken.”

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The fight will take place at AT&T Stadium, the home of the Dallas Cowboys, on July 20.

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Police respond after ‘Harry Potter’ author dares them to arrest her for challenging law

J.K. Rowling, the author of the “Harry Potter” book series, challenged Scotland’s new hate speech law on Monday, and police have declared they will not prosecute the author. 

Scotland’s new Hate Crime and Public Order Act was activated on April 1. The text of the bill, originally introduced years before, warns against acts that “stir up hatred against a group of persons” of certain protected characteristics, including age, disability, religion or, in the case of a social or cultural group, perceived religious affiliation, sexual orientation, transgender identity, and variations in sex characteristics. The maximum penalty is a seven-year jail sentence. 

Rowling, who lives in Scotland’s capital city of Edinburgh, began an April Fool’s Day social media thread by listing multiple biologically male criminals who claimed to be transgender just prior to being sentenced for various horrific crimes, expressing mock relief their avowed gender identities were being respected. She then switched her rhetoric and declared, “Only kidding. Obviously, the people mentioned in the above tweets aren’t women at all, but men, every last one of them.” 

After slamming Scotland’s new hate speech bill directly, Rowling declared, “if what I’ve written here qualifies as an offense under the terms of the new act, I look forward to being arrested when I return to the birthplace of the Scottish Enlightenment.”

The BBC reported on Tuesday afternoon that “Social media comments made by JK Rowling challenging Scotland’s new hate crime law are not being treated as criminal, Police Scotland has said.”

BBC DISCIPLINES TOP RADIO HOST FOR CALLING TRANS WOMEN MALE DURING RADIO SHOW

Rowling hailed the decision, declaring, “I hope every woman in Scotland who wishes to speak up for the reality and importance of biological sex will be reassured by this announcement, and I trust that all women – irrespective of profile or financial means – will be treated equally under the law.”

After one commenter speculated that the local police are not prosecuting Rowling because she has massive wealth to fight such charges in court, Rowling vowed, “If they go after any woman for simply calling a man a man, I’ll repeat that woman’s words and they can charge us both at once.”

Scotland’s new hate speech law has sent shockwaves across Scotland and the entire UK. 

The Telegraph reported that former deputy leader of the Scottish National Party, Jim Sillars, launched a campaign to “resist the Hate Crime Act and campaign for its repeal.”

WOMEN’S RIGHTS ‘FORGOTTEN’ IN FAVOR OF TRANS INMATES, FORMER PRISONER SPEAKS OUT IN NEW DOCU-SERIES

“Today on their own admission, Police Scotland will translate itself from a service into a force for one particular purpose — the pursuit of people who speak their minds,” Sillars said. This law “inflicts a deep wound on the face of Scottish society.”

Rishi Sunak, the prime minister of the UK, commented directly on Rowling’s challenge to the Scottish Police, declaring, “We should not be criminalizing people saying common sense things about biological sex, clearly that isn’t right” and that “We have a proud tradition of free speech.”

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Fox News’ Alba Cuebas-Fantauzzi contributed to this report.

Fact-checkers mob RFK Jr. after he uses anti-Trump talking point against Biden

Multiple mainstream media outlets rushed to “fact-check” Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. after he shared his opinion that President Biden is a “much worse” threat to democracy than former President Trump.

Kennedy was bludgeoned for his comment, including by The Washington Post’s Philip Bump and CNN’s Daniel Dale, both of whom accused the presidential candidate of spreading “misinformation” and implicating Biden in actions taken by his administration that he wasn’t explicitly involved in.

Other prominent pundits, like the co-hosts of ABC’s “The View” and CNN host Dana Bash, ripped Kennedy Jr. for the claim as well.

RFK JR SAYS HE MEETS BALLOT THRESHOLD IN ANOTHER KEY BATTLEGROUND STATE

“I can make the argument that President Biden is a much worse threat to democracy. And the reason for that is, President Biden is the first candidate in history, the first president in history that has used the federal agencies to censor political speech or censor his opponent,” Kennedy told CNN host Erin Burnett on Monday. “

“The greatest threat to democracy is not somebody who questions election returns but a President of the United States who will use the power of his office to force the social media companies Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, to open a portal and give access to that portal to the FBI, CIA, the IRS, the NIH, to censor his political critics,” he added.

He also accused Biden of “weaponizing” the U.S. Secret Service against him by denying him protection.

Kennedy did admit to the CNN host that Trump’s behavior in “trying to overthrow” the 2020 election is a “threat to democracy,” but maintained that Biden’s behavior has been worse.

Shortly after Kennedy’s appearance on Burnett’s show, CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale was brought on to fact-check Kennedy’s comments. 

“First of all, there is no evidence that President Biden has been at all personally involved in decisions about who should and should not get Secret Service protection,” Dale said. 

LIBERTARIAN PARTY CHAIR SAYS RFK JR. NOMINATION COULD BE ‘MUTUALLY BENEFICIAL’

He continued, “Secondly, I think it’s important to note that there are federal criteria for who gets said protection, including such things as being the nominee of a major party, which Mr. Kennedy is not, being at 15% or higher consistently for a month in the Real Clear Politics polling average, which Mr. Kennedy currently is not.”

Dale added how the secretary of Homeland Security “can decide to offer” protection but hasn’t.

He then went after the censorship claims, stating, “We know there is a controversy about a White House communications with social media companies about what posts and accounts should remain up or not. There is no evidence that Biden has been involved whatsoever.”

Washington Post columnist Philip Bump went after Kennedy in an analysis piece titled, “Misinformation-spouting RFK Jr. muses that Biden is threat to democracy.”

“Everything Kennedy said in the quotes above is false or misleading,” Bump wrote, referencing the candidate’s saying Biden is “much worse” than Trump.

Bump said Kennedy’s claims of censorship weren’t true because, while the Biden White House emailed X, formerly known as Twitter, “WONDERING IF WE CAN GET MOVING ON THE PROCESS FOR HAVING IT REMOVED ASAP,” for one of Kennedy’s tweets, it was not ultimately taken down.

On Tuesday, CNN anchor Dana Bash gave what she called an “important fact-check” to his claims.

“Now, let‘s just be very clear. This is an important fact check. Joe Biden wasn‘t setting out to censor Kennedy‘s speech or his political critics. His administration was encouraging social media sites to monitor and take down false information about the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s no evidence that Biden himself was involved,” she said. 

The hosts of ABC’s “The View” trashed Kennedy’s claims on Tuesday and deemed him a “threat” to Biden’s re-election campaign

“Meanwhile, he is a conspiracy theorist, anti-science. His whole family is voting for Biden and this type of dangerous rhetoric that Biden is a bigger threat to democracy than the man who wanted to throw over the government, overthrow the government,” co-host Joy Behar said. 

Co-host Sara Haines agreed, adding that Kennedy Jr. was “wrong in what he was saying,” and noting, “President Biden is not responsible for private social media companies. The First Amendment is for the government, it does not apply, necessarily, to private companies who decide to ban you.”

Behar followed up by calling the Independent candidate a “liar.”

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Kennedy doubled down on his views during an interview with “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday. 

“If you have a president who can censor his political opponents, he has the license for any kind of atrocity, that is a genuine threat to our democracy,” he said. “What Trump said about… questioning the election and… to the extent that he engaged… in an effort to overthrow that, of course, that’s a threat to democracy, but it is not the worst threat undermining the First Amendment of our Constitution and then weaponizing the federal agencies, to get his opponents off the ballot.” 

Fox News Digital’s Landon Mion and Bailee Hill contributed to this report.

Ballot item could shake up abortion debate giving Dems hope for game-changer

The Florida Supreme Court ruled on Monday that a ballot measure enshrining abortion into the state’s constitution can be voted on in November which prominent pro-life advocates tell Fox News Digital will involve a “misleading” playbook that is too “extreme” for Florida voters.

While Monday’s ruling upheld a 15-week abortion ban signed into law by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and cleared the way for the imminent enforcement of a 6-week ban, which Democrats have already attacked as “MAGA extremism”, it also approved a ballot measure in November allowing Florida voters to decide whether to enshrine abortion access into the state constitution.

The Florida ruling comes shortly after voters in Ohio, where Trump won by 8 points in 2020, overwhelmingly voted in favor of a constitutional amendment allowing abortion. Several pro-life advocates spoke to Fox News Digital about what the post-Roe v. Wade battle will look like in Florida.

“The abortion businesses pushing this extreme amendment know the heartbeat law is supported by the majority of Floridians and second- and third-trimester abortion is wildly unpopular,” Katie Glenn Daniel, Tampa lawyer and SBA Pro-Life America State Policy Director, told Fox News Digital. 

OHIO VOTERS APPROVE AMENDMENT ENSHRINING ABORTION ACCESS INTO STATE CONSTITUTION

“That’s why they will use tens of millions of dollars like they did in Ohio to use fear and deception because they know their extreme policy is wildly unpopular. Despite the clear fact that emergency care continues to be available to pregnant women in all 50 states, they will rely on the lie women won’t receive medical care and sow confusion that puts women’s lives in danger.”

Daniel explained that in order to avoid a similar result as Ohio, prominent Floridians must persuasively articulate what the abortion measure means for residents.

“Gov. Ron DeSantis must be at the forefront of protecting Florida from Big Abortion’s attempt to eliminate the rights of unborn children, parents, women, and girls,” Daniel said. “Gov. DeSantis signed protections for babies who feel pain and have a heartbeat into law and now he must lead in defending those protections.”

Since Roe v. Wade was overturned and the issue was given back to the states, Republicans have suffered several defeats at the ballot box that many pundits attribute to poor messaging on abortion from the GOP but some pro-life advocates, including Caitlin Connors, southern regional director for SBA Pro-Life America, have made the case that Democrats are not where the majority of Americans are on abortion. 

PRO-LIFE GROUPS REJECT MEDIA NARRATIVE THAT GOP CAN’T WIN ON ABORTION AFTER OHIO DEFEAT: ‘NOT A LOSING ISSUE’

“The media narrative that late-term abortion is a political winner is wrong. Since Dobbs we’ve seen strong pro-life candidates like Senator Rubio stand strong for life and win,” Connors told Fox News Digital. 

“The Democrats know their candidates suffer when they get on a debate stage and are confronted directly on the extreme position to legalize 2nd and 3rd trimester abortions, so they are trying to use deceptive amendments to cover their tracks. Their extreme position is not a winner with the American people and Republicans must continue to expose the Democrat position for voters across America.”

Prominent Democrats have already begun promoting the idea that a wave of turnout for the abortion measure will not only constitutionally override the state’s current abortion bans but could also benefit President Biden’s effort to carry Florida in November which would be a crushing blow to former President Trump’s campaign. 

More and more people are realizing how wrong these bans are and you’ve seen it across the country, whenever there have been ballot initiatives, no matter how red the state is, the people rise up for women’s reproductive freedom here,” North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper told reporters during a Biden-Harris campaign conference call on Wednesday. 

FOX NEWS POLL: RECORD NUMBER SAY ABORTION SHOULD BE LEGAL

“So the more Republicans do here, the worse it’s going to get for them at the ballot box, as it should, because this is an issue that people care about all across the country.”

I think the empirical evidence suggests that we have a good shot for this,” Florida Democratic State Rep. Fentrice Driskell said on the call. “And it’s tough to ignore the electoral implications. The last time that a Democratic presidential candidate won Florida was when there was an anti-abortion measure on the ballot. So this is something that Floridians pay attention to. That was President Barack Obama in 2012. So I am optimistic that it will pass the finish line in November.”

Republicans outnumber Democrats in Florida by a wide margin and a recent Politico analysis suggested that recent abortion ballot measures did not significantly boost Democrat turnout. Still, Biden campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodríguez said on the zoom call, “We definitely see Florida in play.”

After the Ohio defeat, pro-life groups assessed that part of the reason for the result was being massively outspent and pointed to what they said was misleading language in the abortion amendment, two things that they say must be addressed in Florida. 

“Our campaign will ensure that Florida voters won’t be fooled by the misleading amendment language and ensure that the abortion industry and out of state abortion extremists who have spent nearly $20 million on their campaign so far won’t succeed in their efforts to enact one of the most extreme abortion amendment proposals in America,” Sara Johnson, grassroots director of Florida Voters Against Extremism, told Fox News Digital. 

“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,” the ballot measure, known as Amendment 4, states. “This amendment does not change the Legislature’s constitutional authority to require notification to a parent or guardian before a minor has an abortion.”

Florida Republican Attorney General Ashley Moody, in an amicus brief that was denied by the court, argued the wording is misleading for several reasons including not defining the term “viability.” 

“The ballot summary here is part of a … design to lay ticking time bombs that will enable abortion proponents later to argue that the amendment has a much broader meaning than voters would ever have thought,” Moody argued in a previous brief.

“The ballot language incorrectly implies that the amendment will not impact parental rights when their children seek abortions. Currently, Florida requires parental consent, with limited exceptions, before a physician can perform an abortion on a minor,” SBA Pro-Life America argued in a brief. 

“If the proposed amendment passes, this statute will likely be another casualty. The loss of parental consent is obscured in the ballot language, which highlights that the proposed amendment will not change the constitutional right to parental notification, leading voters to assume that the right to parental consent will be similarly untouched.”

ABORTION PILL USE HAS SPIKED IN RECENT YEARS, NEW REPORT REVEALS: ‘SUBSTANTIAL INCREASE’

“Not only will this measure bring dangerous late-term abortions back to Florida, but it will allow girls who aren’t old enough to get their ears pierced on their own get an abortion without a parent’s okay,” SBA added in a press release

“Those girls and the women who have abortions will be put at risk when this measure eliminates every abortion health regulation on the books. In a state where 25% of abortion centers failed inspections it’s no surprise they want to be completely unregulated to increase their profits at the expense of women, girls, and babies.”

Stephen Billy, VP of State Affairs for SBA Pro-Life America, told Fox News Digital that major pro-abortion groups will be pumping money into the state. 

“Planned parenthood and other abortion businesses, with support from the ACLU, are the major backers of this initiative,” Billy said. “And with good reason—they stand to benefit most if Florida becomes a late-term abortion destination and the state cannot enforce basic health and safety guidelines or even inspect their facilities. One thing is certain, their message won’t explain how extreme this amendment is and won’t focus on the ACLU’s new lawsuit in Ohio where they’re challenging whether an informed consent law allowed under Roe is permitted after the amendment.”

Pro-abortion groups have pointed out that abortion restrictions have been implemented across the entire deep south since Roe’s reversal and suggested the Florida vote will be a rallying cry against those nationwide efforts.

Laura Goodhue, executive director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, said in a statement her organization had seen the negative impact from abortion bans on patients in Florida. “Today’s decision paves the way for Florida voters to stop these ridiculous abortion bans once and for all,” she said.

Constitutional amendments in Florida must pass with at least 60% of the vote, a larger percentage of the vote than any statewide abortion measure has yet won.

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“With abortion on the ballot, Republicans in Florida have the opportunity to be resoundingly clear on where they stand on the issue of abortion and the value of all life,” Florida GOP State Sen. Erin Grall told Fox News Digital. 

“As an issue where lives all across Florida will be deeply and dramatically affected if this were to pass, I know Republicans will be emphasizing their support of pro-life protections and communicating on this important issue with compassion, which is in contrast with the deeply unpopular Democrat agenda for unlimited abortion in Florida.”

Reuters contributed to this report