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Florida lawmakers, organizations react to Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

APTOPIX Supreme Court Abortion
Posted at 11:13 AM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 14:57:09-04

Following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade on Friday, Florida lawmakers and organizations began sharing their reactions.

RELATED: Roe v. Wade overturned: Supreme Court paves way for states to ban abortions

Reactions From Florida Lawmakers:

Governor Ron DeSantis

The prayers of millions have been answered. For nearly fifty years, the U.S. Supreme Court has prohibited virtually any meaningful pro-life protection, but this was not grounded in the text, history or structure of the Constitution. By properly interpreting the Constitution, the Dobbs majority has restored the people's role in our republic and a sense of hope that every life counts. Florida will continue to defend its recently-enacted pro-life reforms against state court challenges, will work to expand pro-life protections, and will stand for life by promoting adoption, foster care and child welfare.

Commissioner Nikki Fried

This is a sad day in American history. The Supreme Court has revoked women's healthcare. They have revoked a woman's right to choose.

This despicable ruling is not reflective of a healthy democracy. It is not based on thoughtful legal precedent. It is based on the conservative politics and dogmatic religious beliefs of a handful of people on the Supreme Court.

To those who, like me, are more than just disappointed today, please understand this: they will not stop at overturning Roe. Mississippi and Idaho are already talking openly and publicly about banning contraceptives. Texas is willing to test putting public education on the chopping block. And gay marriage is likely next. The legal atrocity does not stop with women’s reproductive freedom.

If you are angry, stay angry. Stay angry at those like Ron DeSantis, who are celebrating today. Stay angry at lifelong politicians like Charlie Crist, who still describe themselves as 'pro-life.' Stay mad at leaders who won't stand up for you.

And stand with me. This is a fight I am willing to take all the way to the governor's office. In fact, it’s one I’ve been taking on my whole life.

I want every woman in Florida to know this: when I am the first woman Governor of Florida, you’ll have an ally – not an enemy – in the Governor’s Office.

And we will make our voices heard in Tallahassee, in the halls of Congress, in front of the White House, and all the way to the steps of the Supreme Court if we have to.

Congressman Mike Waltz (FL-6)

Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to reverse Roe will save millions of innocent, unborn lives. The 1973 Roe v. Wade decision was based on outdated science and a flawed constitutional interpretation. Instead, today’s decision will allow states to determine their own abortion laws.

Modern science shows that babies in the womb have heartbeats and do, in fact, feel pain. The argument that children have no rights until after birth is flawed. This is ultimately a debate about when life begins and deserves protection. That debate should be settled by elected legislatures.

As a matter of comparison, the United States is one of only a handful of countries in the world that allow abortion on demand, comparable to authoritarian regimes such as China and North Korea. Even most European nations maintain some restrictions for abortions.

Rep. Kathy Castor

Ripping away our rights and freedoms is un-American - and this decision is downright dangerous. For over fifty years, women across America have had the right to make personal health care decisions with their doctors and their families. Today, the Supreme Court and the extremists who built this court majority are compromising the health, safety and economic well being of women and families. Women, families and their doctors – not politicians – should determine the timing of childbirth, make their own personal reproductive health decisions and choose their pathways in life.

Neighbors across Florida are rightfully worried about what today’s decision means for them – Governor DeSantis and Republican legislators already have issued a costly and cruel restrictive abortion ban in the state that is illegal under the right to privacy under our state constitution. Repealing Roe v Wade affects more than just abortion care – it impacts the work and funding of health providers that people in communities across the country depend on. We need to ensure that all people have access to the quality care they need, including birth control, abortion care, prenatal care and parenting support. That’s why I cosponsored the Health Care Providers Safety Act, to combat the skyrocketing reports of violence and harassment against abortion care providers and ensure our doctors and medical professionals can operate in safe, secure environments.

While today’s decision will be devastating for Floridians, especially our neighbors of color, I will not rest until we make Roe a law and ensure birth control remains available and affordable. We have voted in the House to do so with passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act, and today I am joining countless Americans in the urgent call for U.S. Senators to act with courage on behalf of all Americans to pass the bill. While today is a dark day in our nation’s history, our fight for freedom is not over.

Rep. Charlie Crist (D-St. Petersburg)

My heart is heavy for women across our country and in the Sunshine State who, with this decision, are losing their federal protections for the freedom to make their own reproductive decisions.

Under Ron DeSantis, freedom for Florida’s women has been under attack. And with today’s decision, the fate of reproductive freedom in our state is now squarely in the hands of the governor and state legislature. For Florida’s women and for all Floridians, this November’s election is the most consequential in modern history.

I'm running for governor to protect Roe v. Wade. On day one of the Crist Administration, I will sign an Executive Order to protect a woman’s right to choose. Fighting every day for the women of our state will be a cornerstone of my administration. It’s time to get organized, get energized, get voters registered, and turn out the vote to protect women’s freedom.

Rep. Ted Deutch (FL-22)

Today, the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade and the constitutional right to abortion. But the right to bodily autonomy is not just a constitutional right. It is a human right. This much is clear: even as the relentless attacks on Americans’ most personal, most basic rights continue, we will fight to protect women's reproductive rights and safety. Now is not a time for panic, but a time for focused action in order to protect, uplift, and support one another. Our work continues, together.

Rep. Chris Sprowls, Republican and Florida House Speaker

Sen. Lauren Book, Democrat and Florida Senate Minority Leader

Women's rights were set back half a century today with the Supreme Court's devastating decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. With this destructive and consequential ruling, women in 13 states across the country are immediately stripped of their right to bodily autonomy and self-determination – their rights gone in an instant. With Florida Republicans cruelly proving their appetite for robbing women and girls victimized by the horrific trauma of rape, incest, and human trafficking of their right to an abortion after 15 weeks – period, end of sentence, no exceptions – it is clearly only a matter of time before our state also debates an all-out abortion ban.

We are facing a future that terrifies me – one where my daughter, and women and girls everywhere, even survivors of sexual assault will be forced to carry unwanted pregnancies to term no matter the circumstances. The only thing standing between Floridians and that dangerously real dystopian future is for every single eligible voter to exercise their right at the ballot box. We the people must stand up, speak out, and vote as if our personal rights and freedoms depend on it – because they do.

Sen. Marco Rubio

Sen. Rick Scott

The importance of today’s decision by the Supreme Court cannot be overstated. For nearly 50 years, our country endured flawed legal reasoning that invented an implied constitutional right to abortion while stripping authority from lawmakers according to the will of the people. Today, the Court correctly interpreted the Constitution, defended human dignity and the foundational principle of federalism, and rightly declared that there is no constitutional right to end the life of an unborn child.

I firmly believe that life begins at conception and that every child deserves to be welcomed into this world with open and loving arms. Abortion ends a life. It is abhorrent and has no place in our society. While we celebrate the Court’s latest ruling, the fight to protect the sanctity of life is not over. Lawmakers and the pro-life movement have the responsibility to make adoption more accessible and affordable, and do everything in our power to meet the needs of struggling women and their families so they can choose life. We cannot stop fighting until every life, born and unborn, is valued.

Sen. President Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby)

As an adopted child myself, I am grateful for this decision. The court is finally righting a grievous wrong.

It’s hard to believe we live in a country that has permitted the murder of 63 million innocent children over the last 50 years. Every abortion kills a human being made in the image and likeness of God who deserves the chance to grow up in a loving family.

I particularly like that the Court mentions, in outlining views of pro-life Americans, ‘a woman who puts her newborn up for adoption today has little reason to fear that the baby will not find a suitable home.’ That is certainly the case here in Florida. Florida is a state that values life. I have been proud to support pro-life, pro-family policies that not only protect innocent, unborn babies, but also support children, parents, and other caring adults willing to raise a child who is not their own.

Sen. Annette Taddeo

I am terrified and hurt for my daughter and her generation that are coming of age in a time when they will have less rights and freedoms than I had. The Supreme Court's decision to strip a woman’s right to choose means the government will be making these decisions about our future. This is not only abhorrent but certainly not acceptable in a free society. In one swoop, the Supreme Court is reversing decades of established precedent for multiple generations of women while also laying the foundation to reverse additional precedents, including gay marriage. Regression like this is commonplace in fascist countries but has no place in a free and democratic society.

Let’s make no mistake about it, the brunt of this ruling will be felt by women who cannot afford to cross state lines, the majority of them Black and Brown, to states that allow access to this medical care. Allowing states to ban access to reproductive healthcare will only lead to an increase in unsafe, non-medical alternatives. I know this firsthand growing up in a country where such access did not exist.

Now more than ever it’s urgent we elect people who will protect a woman’s right to choose. Someone who has a lifelong commitment to the advancement of women’s rights and someone who is prepared to codify Roe into law.

I am angry — as a mother, as a daughter, as a woman, as a friend. We will not stand by, and we will not stay silent.

Reactions From Florida Organizations:

ACLU of Florida

"The courts are letting anti-abortion politicians attack our fundamental rights, but they don’t get the final say — we do,” said Amy Turkel, interim executive director of the ACLU of Florida. “While we will do everything in our power to block these bans in the courts, we’re not stopping there. We are mobilizing people in the streets and taking this fight to the ballot box to hold politicians accountable. Together we can ensure we keep the power to make the best decisions for ourselves and our families.”

Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg

We are deeply heartened to see that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in its landmark opinion, Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. The most influential abortion case in decades, Dobbs is a decision by our nation’s highest court to allow states to protect women and their children from abortion through all stages of pregnancy.

“The legacy of Roe and Casey has been the imposition of an abortion regime that made our nation one of the most liberal of Western democratic countries on abortion. As a result, over 62 million children nationwide and 3,368,4751 children in Florida were denied the opportunity to live outside the womb since 1973. Mothers, fathers, and families have suffered under the shadow of Roe. Now, decision-making on abortion policy is once again in the hands of the American people and their elected officials. This is a momentous step towards establishing a more robust culture of life.

“The Dobbs case marks a new era for the work of the Church and all those who strive to protect children in the womb. We remain committed to ministries of service that accompany expectant mothers facing difficult or unintended pregnancies. We strive to continue to build a society that empowers women so that mothers are truly supported throughout pregnancy and beyond. A truly pro-life culture values women for their unique contributions and special gifts in all spheres of life, while supporting them in their roles as mothers. We wholeheartedly promote the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ initiative Walking with Moms in Need as well as the Florida Pregnancy Care Network to provide life-affirming care for women.

“We also remain passionate in the collective effort to change hearts and minds in Florida so that abortion is unthinkable, and to advocate for the legal protection of human life in the womb accompanied by profound care for mothers and their children. Roe’s reversal is the long-awaited righting of a grievous wrong, and we look ahead with grateful hope as we seek to bring the light of Christ and the Gospel of Life to our state of Florida.

Florida Access to Justice Project

Amy Weintraub, Reproductive Rights Program Director for Progress Florida:

Today’s decision represents an unconscionable attack on our fundamental right to control our own bodies, opening the door for millions of people across the country to lose access to safe and legal abortion.

We know many states will now seek to ban abortion, but it is important to recognize that the privacy clause in Florida’s state constitution still stands, and abortion is still legal in our state.

The Court’s dramatic rollback of reproductive freedom signals coming attacks on other fundamental rights, including LGBTQ rights, the freedom to vote, efforts to combat racism, and other rights long relied upon by Americans.

This decision won’t change the fact that people across the country will always need abortion care, but it will further embolden anti-abortion politicians to push for the nationwide total ban on abortion they’ve sought all along.
Laura Guren Rodriguez, Florida State Policy Advocate Chair, National Council of Jewish Women:

Today’s Supreme Court decision not only violates our Constitutional rights under the first amendment but will harm millions of Americans. Abortion is health care, and it should always be accessible with dignity and respect, and without shame or stigma.

It is critical that Floridians recognize that our state constitution protects individual rights beyond the U.S. constitution, including the freedom to make our own personal and private decisions regarding abortion care.

With so much hanging in the balance, it is more important than ever that our state courts be independent and free from partisan politics. Ensuring independent state courts helps protect citizens’ rights and safeguard our freedoms, especially from politicians who only care about power and getting reelected.

Today’s decision lays bare the need to insulate our courts from political meddling. An independent state judiciary is crucial to protecting not only reproductive freedom in Florida but denying other political attacks on our basic rights and liberties, and ensuring equal justice under the law.

Florida Democratic Party

Today’s decision by five Republican-appointed Justices severely restricts the freedom of millions of women to make deeply personal health care decisions and instead impose government interference in health care decisions between women, their doctors, family, and God.

Florida Republicans Marco Rubio and Ron DeSantis are focused on banning abortion and basic freedoms when they should be trying to improve our economy, ensure that every American can find a good paying job, and make health care more affordable. They support draconian bans on reproductive health care without exceptions when a woman’s life is in danger or for victims of rape and incest. Today’s decision gives them the power to compel their dangerous political agenda at every level, including a possible ban on the use of contraceptives.

Democrats believe in the freedom of women to make their own personal health decisions and are committed to fighting government interference in health care decisions between women and their doctors. Conservative politicians have no right to intervene in some of the most difficult and personal choices women and their families have to make.

Reactions From Other Organizations:

American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)

Today’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade means that the once Constitutionally protected right to access an abortion is no longer guaranteed nationwide. This decision carries grave consequences for our adolescent patients, who already face many more barriers than adults in accessing comprehensive reproductive healthcare services and abortion care.

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) this morning reaffirmed our longstanding policy supporting adolescents’ right to access comprehensive, evidence-based reproductive healthcare services, including abortion. Today’s ruling means that in many places in the United States, this evidence-based care will be difficult or impossible to access, threatening the health and safety of our patients and jeopardizing the patient-physician relationship.

In the wake of this ruling, the AAP will continue to support our chapters as states consider policies affecting access to abortion care, and pediatricians will continue to support our patients.

America First Policy Institute (AFPI)

“For two years, we have been told to follow the science when it comes to a paper mask on a seven-year-old child, yet not when it comes to a sonogram of a 15-week-old fetus showing a clear image of human life, the baby’s gender, heartbeat, and limbs. Today’s ruling at the Supreme Court is a win for the American Child. The Center for the American Child will support efforts within states to ensure women and children are protected not just at birth but throughout the life of the baby," said Kellyanne Conway, Chair of the Center for the American Child at the America First Policy Institute and former Senior Counselor to President Trump.

EMILY’s List, President Laphonza Butler

Today, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, undoing nearly 50 years of precedent and taking direct aim at our freedom. They have outlawed the right to make our own health care decisions and the freedom that allows us the opportunity to decide our own future.

This court is moving us backward, taking rights away and giving control of our bodies and our decisions to the government. This decision was made by a handful of justices, most nominated by a president who lost the popular vote and voted in by senators representing less than half of the population, despite the fact that the majority of this country supports the freedom afforded by Roe v. Wade. Their decision will have sweeping consequences for millions of Americans.

Republicans have fought to undermine reproductive rights for decades, and as devastating as this decision is, it won’t be the end of their effort. In states around the country, Republicans are advancing more extreme restrictions to criminalize abortion and punish women and doctors. National Republican groups and party leaders have already made clear their intention to pass a national abortion ban. If they get their way, even states that have codified access to abortion will be forced to stop care. They will not stop until they replace our freedom with their control.

Make no mistake: abortion is on the ballot this November, and we, the pro-choice majority in this country, will hold them accountable. We will replace them in offices across the country, up and down the ballot with Democratic pro-choice candidates who will fight for our rights and freedom, with women who will work to expand access to anyone who needs it.

Today is a tragic day. But this decision will not end the debate on this issue. We will take this fight to the ballot box. We are the majority in this country and we will fight back.

MoveOn, Executive Director Rahna Epting

Today, the Supreme Court decimated nearly 50 years worth of progress and for the first time in generations stripped us of our rights, freedoms, and control over our bodies. It is an outrageous and dangerous ruling which proves this court is nothing more than an arm of the Republican Party. Let’s be clear, five justices did not overturn Roe, the entire Republican Party did. It makes the extremism of the modern day Republican Party bare for all to see.

We are the majority. And Republicans packed the courts to accomplish through the courts what voters have repeatedly rejected at the ballot box. We will hold every Republican accountable for overturning Roe and further eviscerating abortion access. We have one message today for every Republican who has pushed these draconian policies for years and who attempts to put abortion bans into effect in the states-we’ll see you at the ballot box.

NextGen America Statement, President Cristina Tzintzún Ramirez

Today’s Supreme Court decision throws away years of established precedent and ignores the overwhelming majority of Americans who support reproductive justice. Deciding what happens to one’s own body should be the right of every American, and by eliminating the constitutional right to an abortion, the Supreme Court has launched a vicious attack on the lives of all.

This decision has been in the works for decades by the far right, which has now overtaken the Supreme Court. Today’s decision makes clear that no civil liberties are safe from being rolled back by this Supreme Court. It will not stop here. The millions of young people that NextGen mobilizes are ready to fight back and stop the erosion on other basic rights from access to contraceptives, gay marriage, and even our basic right to vote.

This upcoming election, NextGen is reaching 9.6 million young voters across the country to make their voices heard on the issues that matter to them and stop the takeover of our government by an extremist minority, who is determined to take our country backwards. At NextGen America, we are ready to activate a whole new generation of leaders into action. They will ensure that Congress finally delivers on this issue and protect the rights of Americans to make decisions regarding their bodies.

We fought this fight in 1973 and won, and we will win again.

Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel

Life wins! Millions of Americans are celebrating today’s ruling and a pro-life movement that has worked tirelessly for decades. For a half century unelected judges have dictated America’s abortion laws. This historic ruling rightfully returns power to the American people to enact laws that protect unborn children and support mothers everywhere. As this debate now returns to the states and the American people, we know there is still much work ahead. Republicans will continue to advocate for life, uphold the law, and stand against an extreme Democrat Party’s pro-abortion agenda.