Florida reacts to Legislature’s passage of 15-week abortion ban
Lauren Book makes an impassioned plea for the Senate to approve her amendment to the bill prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks.

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The measure comes as Republicans across the country move to tighten access to the procedure.

Abortions after 15 weeks would be banned in Florida under a bill Republican senators sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis late Thursday, capping a bitter debate in the statehouse as a looming U.S. Supreme Court decision may limit abortion rights in America.

DeSantis, a Republican, has previously signaled his support for the proposal and is expected to sign it into law.

Here is a compilation of reactions to passage of the ban:

President Joe Biden:

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist:

“A vast majority of Floridians support and respect a woman’s right to choose. Yet the Republican controlled Florida Legislature acted into the late hours of the night to attack Roe v. Wade and undermine a woman’s right to choose. Governor DeSantis has made his anti-women stance clear, but he still holds the veto pen and the people of Florida demand he do the right thing and stop this legislation from becoming law.”

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried:

“Today is a dark day for women in Florida. This extreme abortion ban is not only cruel, immoral, and inhumane – it violates both the Florida and the U.S. constitutions. It’s an insult to the dignity of women and our ability to make decisions about our own lives. It will punish women and girls who have endured traumas that the privileged white men who pushed this bill could never even imagine, and every single member who voted for it should be ashamed. I want every woman who feels scared or outraged about this bill to know that you are not alone. To every woman who has ever told her story and felt like no one was listening: I promise you that I am. For every survivor of rape, sexual assault, and human trafficking: we will keep fighting for you. I wish that the state that we love was better for all of us. We will stand on the shoulders of our mothers and grandmothers who have been fighting for our rights for generations and use the love we have for our sisters, daughters, and friends to give us the strength to continue this fight for as long as it takes.”

Sen. Wilton Simpson:

“Every abortion kills a special and unique human being who deserves protection under the laws of this state and the chance to grow up in a loving family. Growing up as an adopted child in a family that took in foster children, it has always been important to me that our state do everything we can to promote adoption as an alternative to abortion. Floridians can be proud that we live in a state that not only protects innocent, unborn life, but also supports children and parents. I commend Senator Stargel for her dedication to strong pro-life, pro-child, and pro-family legislation.”

Sen. Lauren Book:

“Florida Republicans claim to be defenders of ‘freedom’ – except when it comes to a woman’s freedom to choose what is right for herself, her body, and her future. At its core, this ban is nothing more than a control mechanism, and an affront to every woman’s individual freedom and independence – with NO exemption for rape, incest, or human trafficking. This is why we must continue building the bench of pro-choice women leaders who can help defend reproductive rights in Florida government. It’s why the work of Ruth’s List matters now more than ever.”

Sen. Janet Cruz:

“Stripping these freedoms will not reduce abortions, but it will make them less safe and result in more women in our state dying as a result. Not only does this bill politicize a woman’s basic right to make her own healthcare choices, it will also have a disproportionate effect on those who are in poverty, have health issues, and who are in domestic violence situations.”

Sen. Kelli Stargel:

“We have a duty to protect life. This bill safeguards innocent, unborn children with beating hearts, who can move, taste, see, and feel pain. In the half century since the Roe v. Wade decision, science has shown us that an unborn baby rapidly develops the functions and form of a child long before viability. I am grateful to my Senate colleagues for their support and look forward to seeing this pro-life legislation signed into law by Governor DeSantis.”

Rep. Fentrice Driskell:

“It is not the government’s place to interfere with one of the toughest decisions a person will ever make. That private decision is one of faith, healthcare, personal freedom, and is essential to protecting the emotional and physical future of people and their families. It’s why I’m so inspired by the work of Ruth’s List to recruit and support Democratic pro-choice women stepping up to run for all levels of public office. It’s the only way for us to secure a better future for our state.”

Rep. Anna Eskamani:

“HB5/SB146 is one of the most extreme anti-abortion and anti-freedom bills to ever pass the Florida Legislature. It is a direct assault on the people of Florida and our constitutional rights. Let me be clear: there is no such thing as a reasonable abortion ban. Nothing in this ban is moderate, it is extreme. And despite impassioned pleas by Democrats to pass amendments that would provide exceptions for rape, incest, and human trafficking none were accepted by the Republican majority. The only exceptions that do exist in the bill are very narrow, and needs to be verified by two doctors, creating an unnecessary and undue burden to an already restrictive bill.

Christie Arnold, Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops:

“While we continue to look forward to the day when the full protection of unborn life is recognized in law, we are encouraged that HB 5 further limits the grave harm that abortion inflicts upon women and children.”

Stephanie Fraim, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida:

“Banning abortion is not what Floridians want. Every poll shows a majority of Floridians are against a 15-week abortion ban. Why do some politicians think they are better equipped to make medical decisions about someone’s pregnancy than the pregnant person, their family, and their doctor? Floridians want the freedom to make their own private medical decisions, not to be told what to do by politicians in Tallahassee. This cruel and careless law strips people of the right to control their own bodies and their futures.”

Kara Gross, legislative director at ACLU Florida:

“The passage of this abortion ban is absolutely disgraceful. With this bill, Floridians are deprived of the right to determine for themselves whether and when to have a child. This cruel bill will amount to forced pregnancy for anyone who cannot obtain the care they need within this arbitrary time limit, and there is no greater governmental intrusion. Forcing someone to continue their pregnancy against their will, and keeping Floridians from accessing critical and essential reproductive healthcare is unconscionable and inhumane. It’s a dangerous violation of a person’s bodily autonomy and privacy. Politicians passing these unpopular and unconstitutional bans on abortion is an irresponsible diversion from the real issues that Floridians need our legislature to address – unemployment, healthcare, affordable housing, and clean air and water. HB 5 rejects what the majority of Floridians’ desire — the freedom to control their lives, their bodies, their healthcare, and their future. Every Floridian should be able to make their own personal, private health care decisions without politicians deciding for them. In a state that prides itself on purportedly being free, this is an unprecedented level of government overreach and intrusion.”

Alexis McGill Johnson, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund:

“We’ve entered a dangerous time for Floridians’ reproductive freedom. In just a few months, thousands of pregnant people in Florida will no longer be able to access the care they need without leaving their state. The supporters of this bill have put their own political ambitions and beliefs before the health and futures of their constituents. We know they will not stop here. Their ultimate goal is to ban all abortions in the state of Florida. But Planned Parenthood Action Fund and our state partners will never stop fighting for patients. We will do everything in our power to stop this law from taking effect and depriving Floridians of their rights.”

Lucy Sedgwick, President & CEO of Ruth’s List Florida:

“It is immoral and unconscionable that Florida Republicans made it their mission this session to insert politics into private medical decisions that should be left to a patient and their health care provider. This law is completely out of line with what the majority of Floridians want, which is the freedom to make their own medical decisions. Here at Ruth’s List it means our mission is more urgent than ever. The only way we’ll stop Florida from sliding further backwards is at the ballot box come November. That’s why we’re recruiting, training, and supporting a record number of pro-choice women this year.”

Material from the Associated Press was used in this post.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises Media and is the publisher of FloridaPolitics.com, INFLUENCE Magazine, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Previous to his publishing efforts, Peter was a political consultant to dozens of congressional and state campaigns, as well as several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella. Follow Peter on Twitter @PeterSchorschFL.


18 comments

  • Stacey Hammer

    March 4, 2022 at 8:29 am

    The only Democrat that you quoted is not going to vote on this bill. I have been seeing a lot of interviews and quotes by Republicans and then no reply from their counterparts, both in written and broadcast news

  • Lynda

    March 4, 2022 at 9:08 am

    The people who worship a fetus and deny a breathing child the resources to live are trying once again to inflect their ideology and their religion on Florida citizens. Their model is Mississippi, 50th in every measurement for a safe and quality life. No one is making the old white men who are forcing women to have their health care decisions be a matter of politics to have an abortion.

    My freedom to live with my belief a fetus is not “born” until she/he breaths is being compromised by the old white men of the controlling Republican/trumpest political cult. Just as rape is usually about control, the state’s regulation of Florida’s women’s reproduction is about forcing women to accept control by an ignorant Legislature.

    • Brian

      March 4, 2022 at 11:42 pm

      A woman can make a decision to abort or not during that 15 weeks (which by the time you find out you are pregnant it is going to be about 12 weeks – still plenty of time). This doesn’t take away a woman’s right to choose it just puts a time limit on it. After the time limit has passed then the right of the unborn child is priority.

    • Brian

      March 5, 2022 at 12:02 am

      oh yea, by the way current law is no abortions after 24 weeks and this law has exceptions for health and safety of the mother and for child defects (don’t know the details of what this means).

  • Edward Lyle

    March 4, 2022 at 11:22 am

    Democrats sure do like killing them some babies.

  • Lisa G Morales

    March 4, 2022 at 11:31 am

    Can you imagine being forced to carry a fetus when you’ve been raped by your father or uncle? Can these old white, Trump backed men even try to put themselves in the shoes of the child whose been assaulted by a stranger or relative? Should the person who raped the woman or child be castrated? I think so, but i assure you those old, unfeeling white men and the few women who join them don’t think men should be punished. I wonder why! It’s truly immoral for these politicians to force a women or child to carry to term a fetus that’s the result of rape, incest or human trafficking. But i really don’t think they are thinking about the immorality of passing such a law, they’re onmy thinking about the few constituents who give them money or who might vote for them. Funny though, they aren’t thinking about the majority of Floridians who are against such a ridiculous law. I hope voters remember these people and vote them out.

    • Brian

      March 4, 2022 at 11:48 pm

      This law doesn’t force a woman to carry a fetus when they have been raped. That is completely false. That woman can abort that child before it reaches 15 weeks. If you have been raped and end up pregnant I think you will not even come close to the 15 week limit before you abort the pregnancy. The rest of your rant is just ridiculous and racist because everything you state is completely untrue. Anyone with a lick of common sense sees this as a good bill that ensures woman have a right to choose within a timeframe and also protects an unborn child once it is considered a person. Most experts consider a fetus an actual person at 12 weeks.

      • Kathy

        March 8, 2022 at 12:40 pm

        That is utter nonsense! Please cite your source for such a ridiculous claim! A 12 weeks fetus is not an actual person. It’s not even an unborn child yet. It is an embryo, a fetus, until viability when it has some chance of survival outside the womb.

  • CS

    March 4, 2022 at 11:45 am

    What I do as a woman, with MY body is nobody’s business except my own, my doctor, and whoever I chose to include.

    Should this disgusting act of control pass because there are elected officials who are using their public office to shove their own religious truths down their constituents throat, here is a new law that need no argument. It should be drafted, and the Governor should sign immediately into law.

    All young men, by age 18 must by automatically given a reversible vasectomy. Any child born out of wedlock prior to the age of 18, the burden of financially caring for said child is to be borne by him and his parents until the young man reaches majority AND said young man has a FULL TIME JOB, making a decent wage to pay for child support.

    Should a child be borne of incest, rape, sexual assault or by human trafficking, the male is automatically castrated, and have a capital SP-C (Sexual Predator-C) tattooed to his forehead for life. Said male is responsible for child born until majority OR, if child is born with special needs he will be responsible for providing some financial assistance for the duration of its life unless the child dies, or is adopted-whichever comes first.

    • Brian

      March 4, 2022 at 11:51 pm

      Wow you are one angry woman. This doesn’t take away a woman’s right to choose it just puts a timeframe on it. After that time passes then the rights of the unborn child become priority. The rest of your comments are just ridiculous and you know it. Understand the law before you make statements that are untrue.

      • CS

        March 5, 2022 at 7:25 am

        Of course I’m angry Brian. Any female capable of thinking what this “law” means to do, should be angry, and should demonstrate as such. Why would we as a state, or as a nation, need to be thrust into “law” that has been created by a bunch of hypocritical Christians who would probably not recognize Christ if he walked among them? I don’t need to have a bunch of hypocrites shoving me their religion down my throat. I also don’t need anyone telling me what I can or can’t do with my body. That’s between me, my doctor, and whoever I want to include. I don’t need the State of Florida telling what I can do or not do.This bill is approved by a bunch of Christians who want the Bible replacing the Constitution. Well I say they can take their beliefs and talk amongst themselves in church where it belongs. Religion has no place in government.

        As far as the rest of my “anger” statement. You said “my comments are ridiculous and I know it.” Well, it appears you didn’t like what I wrote. I am sure it made you sit a little straighter in your chair did it not? What I did is I got your attention Brian. I know exactly what I was doing when I wrote my comment. Of course it’s ridiculous! So is this bill should it pass Brian.

        The individuals in the legislature need to read the bill. They need to listen, really listen to girls, young women and older women who have had reasons to have abortions. Just like you said about my “tit for tat” about males comment, this bill about abortion is ridiculous and it should not be passed.

        • Kathy

          March 8, 2022 at 12:44 pm

          Unfortunately, I think it already has passed.

  • Beth

    March 4, 2022 at 9:41 pm

    Republicans claim they want to protect children yet they vote to force girls who are victims of rape or incest to give birth to the children of their attackers. What kind of sick monsters would even conceive of such an idea? Everyone of these disgusting sexist creeps needs to be voted out.

    • Brian

      March 4, 2022 at 11:54 pm

      This doesnt force girls who are victims of rape or incest to give birth to the children of their attackers. Try reading the legislation before you make false comments. A woman who is raped can still have an abortion. If a child is a victim of incest they can also have an abortion. Real issue is the punishment for rape and incest are weak and should be equal to 2nd degree murder.

      • Beth

        March 5, 2022 at 4:59 pm

        Unfortunately Brian victims of rape and incest are often too traumatized or frightened to report or deal with what has happened to them right away. Sometimes it takes longer than 15 weeks. This issue is private and not for some random men to decide, especially men who only care about the money they will get from radicalized evangelicals. Real men try to help not hurt.

    • Antonio

      March 5, 2022 at 1:46 am

      Serious question: At what point do you believe the fetus is alive?

      • CS

        March 5, 2022 at 2:43 pm

        A fetus is viable when it can survive outside of the mother’s womb, which is typically at 32 weeks and without a lot of medical intervention and can grow into an adult with the similar risk levels as a baby born at full term.
        A fetus can be viable at 22 weeks, but will have underdeveloped lungs, and other vital organs. This baby will be considered extremely premature, and would be under constant medical care. The baby would be at high risk of permanent disability.

  • Better blue than red

    March 5, 2022 at 4:28 pm

    So far I have noticed that the comments in support of this detestable legislative action have male names. Hmm.. I wonder if they happen to be men who in all honesty have no right to dictate if or when a woman should have the right to control her own body? Even if a woman may on average discover their pregnancy by “week 12” , you think they should only have 3 weeks to make a decision that tends to have momentous impact on their life as well as their emotional well-being? I agree with the women above, this is just another effort by fundamentalist Christians to inject their hypocrisy into state politics. I get so frustrated when right wing politics claims to espouse individual freedom when it is evident they support the exact opposite. Every side has their hypocrites, as well as their apologists, but the contemporary Republican Party is full of the biggest hypocrites of them all. The fact that a woman can still get an abortion before week 15 is not a good counter argument, the reason women are angry is because it is predominantly men who think it is okay to promote this legislative garbage. I do agree that adoption should be promoted more, but women should be able to individually make that choice for themselves in a timeframe that is the most comfortable for them. To reiterate the valid point made previously, why should a woman feel pressured to carry a pregnancy, as the result of rape or incest, to full term? Why should they have to get two separate doctors to agree if their is a medical risk to their pregnancy? Why do we always have to politicize women’s bodies?

Comments are closed.


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