Aramis Ayala says she’ll follow law, Constitution, on abortion

Aramis Ayala speaks at abortion rights rally in Orlando
Ayala pledges to be legal analyst on abortion law, then urges rally to not stand quiet on abortion rights.

Attorney General candidate Aramis Ayala is eying a different course on abortion laws than her Democratic Primary Election opponent Daniel Uhlfelder, who earlier Tuesday vowed he would refuse to investigate or prosecute women for having abortions or doctors for providing them.

Uhlfelder, a lawyer from Santa Rosa Beach, staked that position as a response to the news that the Supreme Court of the United States is on the verge of overturning the Roe v. Wade federal assurance of legal abortions. The draft opinion leaked Monday to POLITICO shows the High Court ready to turn the legality of abortions over entirely to the states, with many states ready to outlaw them, and sparking the prospect that Florida might join them.

Ayala, interviewed before an abortion rights rally in which she appeared as a speaker Tuesday night, indicated she hoped she would not have to enforce anti-abortion laws in Florida, but would uphold the laws she saw as constitutional.

“I think it is important for us to be mindful of what we say in setting parameters,” she said when asked about Uhlfelder’s position. “The job of the Attorney General is to enforce the law in a way that supports the Constitution. So it would depend on how the law is crafted on whether or not it is constitutional.”

Ayala has focused her campaign so far on charging that Republican Attorney General Ashley Moody has not carried out responsibilities of an independent Attorney General to side with law, not politics.

“If it is not constitutional, it is the Attorney General’s responsibility not to support it and that’s what I would do,” she clarified. “So I would follow the law, I would follow the Constitution and I would always seek justice on behalf of the people.”

Ayala has experience in challenging laws. Shortly after she became State Attorney for Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit in 2017 she announced she would not pursue death penalties. That led to heated political and court battles. She lost, and then announced she would follow the Supreme Court of Florida’s decision. She served only one term.

Tuesday she continued to defend her 2017 course, saying, “Even though people saw me with the death penalty taking a bold stand, it is actually unconstitutional to say you will seek the death penalty, saying it’s mandatory. Mandatory death penalty is unconstitutional. In that case the court had decide whether or not. It was a political issue.

“So this is a very different situation of following the law. There would be a very specific law that we would have to look at, honor. And it would be the Attorney General’s job to challenge it. That’s our job. Not to follow it but to challenge it,” she said.

Ayala was one of the speakers at a pro-abortion rights rally that drew several hundred people in Orlando Tuesday evening, along with Democratic Sen. Victor Torres of Orlando, House District 39 Democratic candidate Tiffany Hughes, Altamonte Springs City Commission candidate Guerdy Remy, and several abortion rights advocates.

For that audience, Ayala was less the legal analyst and more the passionate advocate.

“Abortion access in America is in crisis. It is crisis because we have people in power who are sadly playing fast-and-loose with our Constitution and the laws of this country and with the laws of this state,” Ayala told the crowd. “No way we can stand quiet while they’re playing games with people’s lives to better their power.”

Ayala pointed out her two daughters in the crowd, with her husband David Ayala, as reasons she believes abortion rights must be protected.

“I’ve had the conversation about the autonomy of their bodies. I’ve had to have the conversation about predators. I’ve had to have the conversation about getting them to a place to feel secure about their bodies. I’m not about to change course in how they are raised. Baby, you take care of your body. Your body is yours at all times,” Ayala said.

Scott Powers

Scott Powers is an Orlando-based political journalist with 30+ years’ experience, mostly at newspapers such as the Orlando Sentinel and the Columbus Dispatch. He covers local, state and federal politics and space news across much of Central Florida. His career earned numerous journalism awards for stories ranging from the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster to presidential elections to misplaced nuclear waste. He and his wife Connie have three grown children. Besides them, he’s into mystery and suspense books and movies, rock, blues, basketball, baseball, writing unpublished novels, and being amused. Email him at [email protected]


One comment

  • Harry kamalatoe

    May 5, 2022 at 2:08 pm

    “The job of the Attorney General is to enforce the law in a way that supports the Constitution. So it would depend on how the law is crafted on whether or not it is constitutional.”

    Sounds good!

    “If it is not constitutional, it is the Attorney General’s responsibility not to support it and that’s what I would do,” she clarified. “So I would follow the law, I would follow the Constitution and I would always seek justice on behalf of the people.”

    Damn That sounds good too!

    “Abortion access in America is in crisis. It is crisis because we have people in power who are sadly playing fast-and-loose with our Constitution and the laws of this country and with the laws of this state,” Ayala told the crowd.

    The fuck… literally nothing in the constitution says anything about abortion. You literally said you would abide by the constitution and then you go off on a tangent about something that has nothing to do with the constitution. In fact, overturning Roe v Wade is absolutely adhering to the constitution because it returns the power of decision to the states and allowed for the citizens to democratically vote of policy as directed by the constitution. If you are in opposition to that then why even mention you support the constitution in the first place?

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