Florida Democrats warn Republicans may push Texas-inspired abortion law in upcoming Session

An emoji — sporting a smile and wearing dark sunglasses — sparked a wave of reactions among Democratic lawmakers.

Florida Democrats sounded the alarm Thursday, warning voters Florida Republicans may pursue legislation akin to Texas’ controversial heartbeat abortion ban in the upcoming Legislative Session.

Texas’ new law ushers the most restrictive abortion laws in the country. It bans abortions after six weeks and provides no exception for rape or incest.

While Gov. Ron DeSantis and House Speaker Chris Sprowls said they would like to review the legislation before making any endorsements, Sen. President Wilton Simpson appeared more than eager Thursday about the possibility.

Simpson told WFLA “there is no question” the Legislature will consider similar proposals. And when asked later about a statement by Democratic Rep. Michelle Rayner, Simpson replied only with an emoji sporting a smile and wearing dark sunglasses.

“😎,” Simpson responded.

“You would think discussing such a dangerous and oppressive law on abortion would be treated more seriously by Florida State leadership,” Rayner tweeted with a screenshot of the exchange.

Rayner wasn’t the only lawmaker bothered by the short-winded response.

Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani described the move as disgusting and unsurprising.

“Male politicians playing with women’s lives has been the norm in states like Texas and Florida,” she wrote on Twitter. “To them it’s all a game.”

News of the law sent ripples across the nation. The Supreme Court voted late Wednesday to uphold the law in a 5-4 vote. Though the legislation can still be challenged in court, it paves the way for conservative states to follow suit.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried described the law as an affront to women nationwide.

Fried is among the leading Democratic gubernatorial candidates vying to oust DeSantis.

“On the shoulders of all the female trailblazers let me say this… If you’re coming for our bodies, we are coming for you,” Fried tweeted. “I’m doing it as Florida’s next Governor, and I’m not alone.”

U.S. Charlie Crist — a Democratic gubernatorial candidate — warned a “woman’s right to choose” is at risk in Florida under DeSantis.

The Republican Governor, Crist said, wants to overturn Roe v. Wade.

“As governor, I will always protect and defend the reproductive liberty that’s guaranteed in our Constitution,” Crist wrote.

Democratic Sen. Anette Taddeo, meanwhile, called on voters to take action.

She warned Florida Republicans plan to sponsor similar legislation.

The Texas law, she noted, allows a person to sue someone they suspect of aiding another to obtain an abortion.

“The are no words for this,” Taddeo wrote. “Women who care about their own rights, and the men who care about the women in their life, need to organize like we’ve never organized before.”

Democratic Rep. Carlos Smith echoed Taddeo’s calls, urging Floridians to contact their respective lawmakers.

“If you think worries about hypocrisy will keep Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida GOP from effectively banning abortion in Florida like they did in Texas, think again,” Smith tweeted. “Hypocrisy means nothing to them.”

Democratic Sen. Janet Cruz accused Florida Republicans of “jaw-dropping hypocrisy.”

“More jaw-dropping hypocrisy from FL’s GOP ‘leaders’ who say it is their choice to wear a mask, but not a woman’s choice what to do with her body,” Cruz wrote. “My colleagues and I are always working — working around the clock on ways to thwart whatever backwards and cruel legislation they draft in dark rooms late at night.”

Committee meetings for the 2022 Legislative Session will begin later this month.

The 60-day Legislative Session starts Jan. 11.

Jason Delgado

Jason Delgado covers news out of the Florida State Capitol. After a go with the U.S. Army, the Orlando-native attended the University of Central Florida and earned a degree in American Policy and National Security. His past bylines include WMFE-NPR and POLITICO Florida. He'd love to hear from you. You can reach Jason by email ([email protected]) or on Twitter at @byJasonDelgado.


  • Alex

    September 2, 2021 at 4:17 pm

    Of course they will.

    The conservative side of the SCOTUS has just allowed Texas to immediately violate a woman’s right to control her own body, and they can’t wait to do it too.

  • PeterH

    September 2, 2021 at 4:34 pm


     Seeking an abortion is often a difficult, complex decision, and to act as though women are unable to make that choice in an informed way is paternalistic and patronizing. 95% of women surveyed do not regret their decision to seek an abortion. Furthermore, abortions do not have long-term negative consequences on women’s health.

    Banning abortion doesn’t stop abortions; it simply makes them unsafe. The economically well-off will continue to access abortions through alternative means, while the most marginalized members of our society — including women of color and the economically disadvantaged — will be forced to resort to the coat hangers and dangerous back-alley abortions of generations past. If we truly want to support women and the sanctity of human life, we must advocate for healthcare expansion, comprehensive sex education, and increased access to contraception.

    According to PEW research 60% of the American electorate across all political spectrums want abortion to be safe and legal.

    In closing ….. with this draconian HANDMAID’S TALE Texas legislation …..men and women who cherish freedom of choice will get out and vote during the midterms.

    The timing by MAGA ignorant Texas legislators couldn’t be better! And yes …. the stupids in Tallahassee will be next in line to follow Texas down this road to perdition.

Comments are closed.


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jason Delgado, Renzo Downey, Daniel Figueroa, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Kelly Hayes, Joe Henderson, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Andrew Wilson, Mike Wright, and Tristan Wood.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn