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What Florida politicians are saying after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade

Charlie Crist announced his candidacy for governor on May 4, 2021. | AP
Charlie Crist announced his candidacy for governor on May 4, 2021. | AP

Politicians across the state react to the news that the Supreme Court majority overturned the landmark case that had provided constitutional protections for people seeking abortions for almost 50 years.

Politicians across Florida are reacting to the news that the Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade.

Friday's news drew strong comments from both Republicans and Democrats

Following is a sampling of reaction through statements and on social media:

Democratic State Rep. Charlie Crist:

“We cannot allow this attack on a woman’s constitutional right to privacy go unanswered. Congress and state governments must immediately step up and take action to protect a woman’s right to choose — because everyone should have full control over their body, life, and future.”

“Today’s Supreme Court decision to overturn nearly fifty years of progress by dismantling Roe v. Wade is shameful, harmful, and wrong," said Rep. Crist. “Without the protections of Roe, radical Republican governors and legislators, including those in Tallahassee, will now have the power to outlaw abortion entirely, regardless of the circumstances.

Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz:

“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.”

“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.

Democratic State Rep. Kathy Castor:

“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.”

Republican U.S. 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.”

Democratic State Sen. Val Demings:

“As a woman, a mother, a woman of faith, and a former law enforcement officer, I am furious and I am disappointed but I have not despaired. I am ready to fight. We won’t go back.

“We must work relentlessly to preserve our right to choose and our right to privacy. We must protect Roe v. Wade in federal law. We cannot go back to a time when women were treated as second class citizens who don’t have control over our own bodies.

“Freedom means the ability to live your life as you choose. You have a fundamental, God-given right to your own life, your family, your religion, your circumstances, your privacy, your values, your health, your body. I’m going to fight for that freedom and so will millions of others. This isn’t over.”

Democratic 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."

Hillsborough County Democratic Party Chair Ione Townsend

"These actions will reverse the protections Roe provided, putting women at risk of resorting to back-alley abortions, infections, and even death. Americans have repeatedly said they want the rights of women to be preserved. ... An activist court has reversed a nearly 50-year precedent taking legal rights away from women, and they brought their own religious views into the Court's decisions."

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Carl Lisciandrello is digital news editor of WUSF Public Media.