Florida politicians react to leaked opinion signaling likely end to Roe v. Wade
Image via AP.

U.S. Supreme Court
Politicians offered their own opinions quickly on policy and on the leak.

Florida’s political leaders reacted strongly to a leaked opinion signaling the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade. The majority opinion, purportedly written by Justice Samuel Alito, would overturn the opinion prohibiting restrictions on access to abortion.

Here is a running compilation of reactions to the news:

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a Miami Republican (in response to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ call to codify Roe): “Translation: Let’s change the rules of the Senate to pass a federal law legalizing the killing of unborn children right up to the day of delivery.”

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, a Naples Republican: “The Supreme Court’s confidential deliberation process is sacred and protects it from political interference. This breach shows that radical Democrats are working even harder to intimidate and undermine the Court. It was always their plan. The justices cannot be swayed by this attack. Following the leak of a draft SCOTUS opinion, Dems have unleashed attacks and threats on the Justices and fully embraced late-term abortion up until the moment of birth. It’s shameful. Every life is precious and should be protected. Today’s Democrat Party refuses to accept that.

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, a Longboat Key Republican: “A leaked draft of a Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v Wade returns the abortion issue to the states — where it belongs. As someone who is committed to protecting the unborn, I will strongly oppose (Speaker Nancy) Pelosi’s effort to reinstate Roe through congressional action.”

U.S. Rep. Kat Cammack, a Gainesville Republican: “Since Roe v. Wade in 1973, advancements in science and medicine have shown that the humanity of children in the womb at 15 weeks is undeniable. Capable of feeling excruciating pain, 15-week-old children have fully formed facial features, and developing hearts and brains. Allowing the law to catch up to our advanced medical knowledge will ensure the American people have a say in in this issue. As a Co-Chair of the House Pro-Life Caucus and someone with a very personal pro-life story myself, I will always stand for life and proudly defend this most fundamental right afforded to us in the United States. I continue to pray for the resolve of our Justices and will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to stand for the precious right to life. Last night’s unprecedented leak of this draft Supreme Court decision is extremely dangerous, obstructing the core principles and independence of our legal system at the highest levels. As the Marshal of the Court launches an investigation into this leak, I hope this incident is the last of its kind, ensuring our Justices have every opportunity to uphold the Constitution without interruptions to their work in this case and all others.”

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Tampa Democrat: “For decades, women, their families and doctors have been rightfully entrusted with decisions on when to have children. Now, politicians and judges will have control over your body and your life, no matter where you live — a frightful backsliding of rights.”

U.S. Rep. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick, a Miramar Democrat: “The potential overturn of Roe vs. Wade would be a direct affront on the last 50 years of advancement in a woman’s right to determine her own destiny. We will not roll back our progress and I will not tire until there is federal protection for every woman’s right to choose. Decades of attacks have left abortion rights hanging by a thread in the U.S. I am proud to have voted for the Women’s Health Protection Act, and  will keep fighting until every person, no matter where we live, how much money we make, or what we look like, has the freedom to make our own decisions about our lives and futures.”

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, a St. Petersburg Democrat: “This is a gut-wrenching day for women and reproductive freedom in our country. The Supreme Court’s decision will mean that the fight for a woman’s right to choose will be left up to each state to decide. Now, more than ever, we need to fight tirelessly to protect a woman’s right to choose. The stakes in this election could not be higher. Early in my career, I was faced with the decision to protect a woman’s right to make decisions over her body. And I stood firmly alongside women — I stopped a bill in the state Senate that would require a 24-hour waiting period for those seeking an abortion. I believed back then, as I do now, that the government should have no place in telling a woman what she can and cannot do with her body. That’s why as your Governor, I vetoed an anti-abortion bill. And I’ll do it again. Right now, Congress must take action to codify Roe v. Wade into law before reproductive rights are ripped away from millions. As a member of the House of Representatives, I proudly joined my colleagues in voting to make Roe v. Wade law, but now it’s time for the Senate to act. The Senate must take this up immediately, and if need be, end the filibuster to ensure its passage. The time to fight on behalf of all women is now.”

U.S. Rep. Val Demings, an Orlando Democrat: “Striking down Roe v. Wade and taking away a woman’s right to make her own decisions is appalling and dangerous. We refuse to go back to being treated as second-class citizens whose personal decisions are made by politicians like Marco Rubio, who has fought relentlessly against the right of Florida women to control their own destiny. Women deserve an end to the constant politicization of our basic, fundamental rights. Let me be clear: I will always stand up, speak out, and fight to codify Roe v. Wade into law, no matter what.”

U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch: “A staggering number of Americans will lose access to comprehensive reproductive health care and safe abortions if the Court does this. It would mark a giant leap back in time for women and for America. As ‘the people’s elected representatives,’ we must act.”

U.S. Rep. Byron Donalds, a Naples Republican: “This breach of trust and ethics with the unlawful release of undisclosed court documents is a crime and is a blatant scheme to obstruct justice. Those liable for prematurely and irresponsibly unveiling this draft opinion have engaged in a historically dangerous political maneuver intended to intimidate Lady Justice and the Constitution that guides our Republic. As politicians on both sides of the aisle and political pundits rally their bases, we cannot lose sight of this monumental assault on our country through the leaking of these confidential documents. What transpired late last night speaks to the erosion of our nation’s political discourse that has fallen victim to culture wars and clickbait journalism designed to undermine American exceptionalism. Those responsible for this crime must be fully held accountable to the law. Intimidation, corruption, and lawlessness can never be allowed nor celebrated if we desire to remain the Constitutional Republican our founders envisioned for us to be.”

U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, a West Palm Beach Democrat: “First thing’s first, abortion is still legal, and this leak doesn’t change that yet. However, if this rumor is true, this is devastating news for our country. This draft Supreme Court opinion would allow politicians to take control over an individual’s reproductive freedom and deny them access to health care — it’s horrendous. The decision of whether and when to become a parent should be made by the person who is pregnant, not by their Governor or anyone else.”

U.S. Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Fort Walton Beach Republican: “Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided. It is bad science and bad law. While draft opinions are always subject to change, the core analysis of this decision is a welcomed vindication for life and humanity.”

U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, a Stuart Republican: “I fought on battlefields to protect the innocent and uphold the Constitution. Abortion does neither. As a soldier, I’ve seen what true evil looks like. But as a father, I’ve seen pure innocence. There’s no doubt in my mind that every heartbeat of an innocent child is worth protecting. This decision has the opportunity to protect millions of vulnerable, unborn babies, and it is undoubtedly the right one.”

U.S. Rep. Darren Soto, a Kissimmee Democrat: “Leaked Supreme Court opinion would set women’s rights back over 50 years in America. I recently voted for Women’s Health Protection Act to codify reproductive rights into law and urge Senate to do the same. I will continue to stand up for a woman’s right to choose.”

U.S. Rep. Greg Steube, a Sarasota Republican: “It is unfortunate that the news of the greatest victory for the Pro-Life movement comes on the heels of one of the most profound breaches of trust the Court has ever seen. If the report is true, I am grateful that all of God’s children will now have a voice, and I am committed to ensuring that the leaker and their complicit partners in the media will be held accountable for their actions to the fullest extent.”

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Weston Democrat: “In 2006, I sounded the alarm bell as a witness in the U.S. Senate confirmation hearing of then-Judge Samuel Alito that, once confirmed, a Justice Alito would be a right-wing extremist who would thrust the government into doctors’ offices and dictate intimate family decisions. It is sickening that that prediction has apparently come true. As a mother of two young adult daughters who have had this constitutional right to make decisions about their own bodies for their entire lives, I am outraged and will fight until my last breath to prevent this loss and restore these sacred rights. If true, Alito’s reported draft opinion to overturn the Roe v. Wade and Casey decisions will spark vigilantism and abortion bans nationwide. Half of all childbearing-aged women would lose control of their own body. The right-wing Supreme Court colleagues who reportedly will join Alito, lied to Senators and Americans about their views, and appear poised to join this legal abomination, one that will join America’s haunting legacy of destructive and appalling legal rulings that deny basic human and civil rights. While history will shun this extremist court action, today we still possess abortion rights, and must defend this sacred power over our own bodies. The disdain for precedent voiced in this draft Dobbs v. Jackson opinion means a return to dangerous, limited access to planning our own families, it means birth control, deciding who you can love or marry, and other basic civil rights protections are no longer safe. It also means death and injury for millions of women who will lose access to abortion around the country, as was the case before the Roe v. Wade decision. We must organize and protest right now and press the Senate to follow the House’s vote to codify Roe into law. This is a call to action. This summer, it is vital that we register and mobilize, and this fall, we must vote in numbers that will allow us to stop Republican extremists from denying women and families access to the basic reproductive rights that clear majorities of Americans support.”

U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, a Hollywood Democrat: “This draft decision from the Supreme Court would limit our freedom to make deeply personal choices about our bodies by overturning Roe v. Wade. As I said back before, it’s a woman’s body, not yours. She alone bears the burden, pain, and joy that it brings. Make no mistake, this will not stop abortions, it will only put women — particularly low-income women of color — at unspeakable risk that will affect the lives of millions of children for generations to come. I am proud to have supported the Women’s Health Protection Act to extend reproductive health access to every American, regardless of where they live and how much they earn. This is a wake-up call for Congress to get off the sidelines and work to put an end to extremist attacks on the reproductive rights of women. We refuse to be dragged backwards to the dark ages of back-alley abortions.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis: “If you look at the protections that I signed into law a couple of weeks ago, those were the strongest that Florida has seen in decades. Our view is that those are fully consistent with the federal constitution. And I know you had the Dobbs case pending, but we really believe that we’re going to end up okay on that now. We’re mindful that we also will be challenged under the Florida Constitution and statutes. We think we’re going to win there, but that is going to be something that we’re going to have to do. At the end of the day. It’s a mistake to read the federal constitution to completely prohibit any pro-life protections. That’s not consistent with the text history structure. I don’t know if that opinion is going to be the actual opinion. Roberts said that was not the final so who knows what’s going on behind the scenes.  I will say though, to have that leak out the way it did was really unprecedented. I think it was really an attack on a lot of the justices. I think it was an intentional thing to try to whip up a lot of the public to try to make it very political, potentially try to bully them into changing one of their positions. And that is not something that’s appropriate for the judicial branch. I know they launched an investigation. They need to figure out who did that, and they need to hold them accountable because that’s a real significant breach of trust. You want to talk about an insurrection, you know, that’s a judicial insurrection, to be taking that out and trying to kneecap a potential majority through extra constitutional means. I was really surprised to see that. We’ll see what ends up being the result going forward.”

Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis: “Roe v. Wade was a travesty, both morally and constitutionally. Overturn it! Pay close attention to all those blue checks who said we need to respect American institutions and were concerned about the ‘norms’ during Trump. They were all lying. Hypocrisy will be front and center.”

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried: “The women of our country are under direct attack by right-wing radicals. Overturning the freedom over our bodies is unconstitutional, unacceptable, and taking us back to a dark, dark time. If they can control our bodies, what do we have left? This cannot stand.”

State Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book, a Plantation Democrat: “Roe v. Wade is dangerously close to being overturned by the Supreme Court. This is not a hypothetical, there is no thin veil — this is a blatant, present, and real attack on women’s reproductive rights waged by the GOP. It is critical now more than ever for pro-choice people everywhere to unite and fight for Americans’ fundamental access to reproductive healthcare.”  (She will appear at an event at 5 p.m. Tuesday with Reps. Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick and Wasserman Schultz, state Reps. Marie Woodson and Robin Bartleman, Coral Springs City Commissioner Nancy Metayer and South Florida activists).

State Sen. Annette Taddeo, a Miami Democrat: “I never thought I would see the day when our own Supreme Court would strip away the rights of millions of women across this country. Regression like this is commonplace in fascist countries but has no place in a free society. 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 health care will only lead to an increase in unsafe, non-medical alternatives. As a mother, I am terrified for my daughter and the rest of her generation who might lose safe access to vital care. Now more than ever it’s urgent to elect a governor who will protect a woman’s right to choose.”

State House Speaker Chris Sprowls, a Palm Harbor Republican: “I have long believed Roe v. Wade represents an abuse of power to manufacture law by judicial fiat. I eagerly await the official & final opinion issued by the Court. The leak however, is a stunning breach of trust and lack of honor by the individual responsible.”

State Rep. Robin Bartleman, a Weston Democrat: ““I always thought that my daughters would have reproductive rights. It was never a question in my mind. We will not go back. We will not go back to wire hangers. We will not go back to women dying in back-alley abortions.”

State Rep. Fentrice Driskell, a Tampa Democrat: “Government should not interfere with one of the toughest choices that a woman and her family would face, especially a government like Florida’s, which has refused to even consider or acknowledge that the majority of Americans support a balanced approach to abortion access. We’re in this very dangerous time where government thinks it knows best, even in the most intimate decisions that a person can make.”

State Rep. Anna Eskamani, an Orlando Democrat: “Based on the makeup and political ideology of the newest Supreme Court of the United States Justices who heard oral arguments on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, I can say that I am not surprised by this draft majority opinion but still find it chilling and destructive to women’s equality and to the rights of all Americans. In fact, Justice Alito’s draft opinion not only dismantles the protections established under Roe v. Wade but he explicitly criticizes Lawrence v. Texas and Obergefell v. Hodges, saying that, like abortion, these decisions protect illegitimate rights that are not “deeply rooted in history. This should be a wake-up call to Americans everywhere — none of our rights are guaranteed, we have to fight for them and fight to protect them. That means voting at every level, defending bodily autonomy and helping those who are most marginalized be able to access abortion. It is important for patients to know that abortion is still legal, that this SCOTUS decision is not final and even if it is it will be a catalyst of different outcomes in every state. Abortion funds are here to help, and Florida funds can be identified via this link. This SCOTUS decision will bring all abortion rights to a state level; we will have not have a federal legal firewall which also means that Congress must act immediately to codify the protections established by Roe v. Wade and we must elect leaders this election cycle who are committed to that goal. As someone who has dedicated more than a decade of her life’s work to reproductive freedom I can say unequivocally that we will not give up — I refuse to go back in time to a period where women and pregnant people could not make decisions about their futures and their destinies. America is known around the globe as the land of the free, and I will not stop fighting until that freedom is guaranteed for all.”

State Rep. Angie Nixon, a Jacksonville Democrat: “Black people in America being considered more than 3/5s a person isn’t a right that has any claim to being ‘deeply rooted in history.’ This. Is. What. We. Warned. You. About. It’s all about power and control. They’re coming for all our rights.”

State Rep. Michele Rayner-Goolsby, a St. Petersburg Democrat and candidate for Congress: “We can codify Roe v. Wade into law right now if the Senate voted to pass the Women’s Health Protection Act.”

State Rep. Anthony Sabatini, a Howey-in-th-Hills Republican and candidate for Congress: “I was proud to join 320 fellow state legislators from across the country to sign onto an Amicus Curiae brief in the Dobbs case calling for Roe v. Wade to be OVERTURNED. I will always fight for the unborn when I’m in Congress—just as I have in Florida.”

State Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, an Orlando Democrat: “Our freedom to marry is NOT guaranteed— none of our freedoms are. LGBTQ people need to vote this November like we’ve never voted before. Retweet and like if you are ready to DEFEND our freedoms! If DeSantis wins re-election as governor, he’ll run for President on a platform of BANNING ALL ABORTION in the United States. Democrats must turn out in November. Just a reminder that Florida’s constitution defines marriage as between one man and one woman. Our freedoms are NOT guaranteed. We must fight to defend them. I’m ready to lead the fight.”

Broward County Commissioner Jared Moskowitz, Democratic candidate for Congress: “It is time to codify reproductive rights into law, and if the news coming out of the Supreme Court is true, the U.S. Senate should bypass the filibuster to get it done. We cannot allow these rights to be trampled by Republicans’ stolen Supreme Court majority that they achieved by changing the rules and refusing to confirm Merrick Garland. Democrats cannot be afraid to do whatever it takes to protect reproductive freedom.”

Hava Holzhauer, Democratic candidate for Congress: “I came into the world in January of 1973 — the same time SCOTUS ruled that pregnant women have a Constitutional right to decide their own futures. For me and millions of women across America, we’ve never known a world where that right to autonomy didn’t exist. Today, that has changed. The visceral mixed feelings of anger and sadness I have felt since hearing the Supreme Court intends to strike down the precedent set by Roe and Casey, is a terrible feeling. Knowing that in this day and age half the country could lose a fundamental right is beyond comprehension. That this decision was made overwhelmingly by men, appointed by men, and confirmed by male majorities is not lost on anyone. Men, particularly the white Christian men who have led the charge against women’s rights, have never known an America where their rights are stripped away. Making abortion illegal does not stop abortions, it stops safe abortions. Make no mistake, women will die because of this decision. Those who think they have fought the good fight in opposing Roe v. Wade are unequivocally wrong and have topped the charts in hypocrisy. The argument for forced pregnancy is contrary to how anti-abortionists fail to support children. They fail young people in our foster care systems, they fail young people by defunding public education, they dismiss the lives taken and destroyed by persistent gun violence. Our lives are on the line with this ruling. Bigoted and misogynistic legislators and activists have been fighting to destroy justice on so many fronts in Washington and in my home state of Florida. We cannot be silent. We will fight for our rights. We will fight for our lives.”

Daniel Uhlfelder, Democratic Florida Attorney General candidate: “Let me be clear: as Florida Attorney General, I will never investigate nor prosecute someone for getting or providing an abortion. I will use the power of my office to refuse to enforce any abortion ban. That is what I owe the people who elect me—to be on their side, not on the side of far-right, fringe extremists.”

Former U.S. Rep. Dennie Mucarsel-Powell, a Miami Democrat: “I am terrified thinking about my daughters’ safety and the safety of millions of women across America. SCOTUS’ radical decision goes against everything this nation stands for. If we are going to protect freedom in America, it starts by protecting a woman’s right to choose.”

Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected]


11 comments

  • Tommy Knocker

    May 3, 2022 at 9:12 am

    And so it spells the beginning of the end for democracy in this country.

    • Harry kamalatoe

      May 5, 2022 at 11:26 am

      Democracy is a system of government that not only allows but requires the participation of the people in the political process to function properly.

      In 1972 when the 9 justices of the supreme court (all men btw and only one was not white) made this decision it took the actual democratic process away from the people.

      If you truly care about democracy in America then you would be happy that the supreme court is attempting to return the decision making process on this topic back to the people so that they can actually democratically vote on it.

  • PeterH

    May 3, 2022 at 10:45 am

    If Americans keep voting for today’s Republicans….. you can expect your individual rights and choices to be eliminated! Collapsing individual freedoms is what right wing governments have been accomplishing since before the Roman Empire.

    You only need to look at DeSantis’s Freedumb State of Florida with it’s interference in Covid, academic book burning and voter suppression.

    • Jerry

      May 3, 2022 at 12:04 pm

      You are full of it. You talk as if Democrats are protecting freedoms and liberties. Only one side has been eroding the freedom of speech. Only one side is trying to dismantle the right to bear arms. Only one side is trying to force a needle into my arm. Watching the Democrats develop a fetish for power during the pandemic has proven to me which side is full of fascists and authoritarians.

      The right for a woman to kill her baby is the only “right” the left cares about protecting.

      • Sally

        May 3, 2022 at 3:43 pm

        Didn’t guns teach you bans don’t work Republican? Lol

        • Harry kamalatoe

          May 5, 2022 at 11:37 am

          Who is banning anything? If the SCOTUS overturns Roe v Wade it doesn’t ban anything it just means there is no constitutional foundation for the case to stand on. It also returns the democratic process of being able to vote on the topic back to the people.

      • Mike

        May 4, 2022 at 6:59 am

        You can’t kill a fetus you imp. Ron DeSantis hates freedom more than anybody. He was only elected due to voter suppression and Trump stole Florida due to voter suppression. Republicans are not pro life, just pro birth.

        • Harry kamalatoe

          May 5, 2022 at 11:35 am

          Bold claim Mike, Do you have any evidence to support your claim of “voter suppression” or “Trump stole Florida” that you can share with the class?

          You sound like you get all of your news from twitter lol

    • Harry kamalatoe

      May 5, 2022 at 11:32 am

      >Collapsing individual freedoms is what right wing governments have been accomplishing since before the Roman Empire.

      Not much of a history buff are ya? But also, the literal platform of ALL left wing ideology is collectivism… there is no such thing as “individual freedom” in left wing ideology.

  • Robert S Klotzbach

    May 4, 2022 at 12:13 pm

    so daniel ohfelder for A.G. will not uphold the law, good stance as an A.G.

    • Harry kamalatoe

      May 5, 2022 at 1:41 pm

      There are currently 4 candidates for AG in Florida;

      Ashley Moody, Rep (Incumbent)
      Jim Lewis, Dem
      Aramis Ayala, Dem
      Daniel Uhlfelder, Dem

      I am never one to vote for a candidate based on the letter next to their name but after digging into the 4 options the only one who doesn’t side with leftist extremism is the one with the R… All 3 of the dems proudly support the progressive agenda and none of them would meet the standard of moderate or classical liberal. Not based on their social media anyway.

Comments are closed.


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