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Nan Rich fundraising off Rick Scott's signing of abortion restriction into law


Democrat Nan Rich hasn't always moved quickly to respond to political opportunities, but she wasted little time Friday capitalizing off of Gov. Rick Scott's decision to sign a new late-term abortion ban into law.

"This is an outrage, and we have to do something. Florida needs a pro-choice governor, so I need your help," Rich, a little-known former state Senate Democratic leader from Weston wrote in an email fundraising pitch.

"I’m the only pro-choice candidate for Florida. I need your support if we are going to finally – finally! – protect women government interference," Rich wrote.

The Democrats' frontrunner, former Gov. Charlie Crist, calls himself "pro-choice" as well. However, as a Republican, he once ran as a "pro-life" candidate. Either way, Crist didn't hop on the abortion bill signing as quickly as Rich.

Conventional wisdom used to hold that abortion was more of a plus for Republicans than Democrats in Florida because anti-abortion activists were more motivated by the issue. But increasingly, it has helped bring women -- specifically unmarried women -- voting Democratic in the state and nation. 

Another sign of public sentiment over abortion: 55 percent of Florida voters in 2012 rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that said "public funds may not be expended for any abortion or for health-benefits coverage that includes coverage of abortion."

But the governor's race is a mid-term election, when liberals and Democrats disproportionately stay home, so the sentiment over abortion and how it plays in this race is anyone's guess.

It's also clear, however, that Rich wants it to be in play.