Democratic Senate candidate Val Demings returned to Jacksonville Tuesday evening, making her first public remarks since a draft Supreme Court ruling leaked that could change the landscape of legalized abortion.
Demings’ “Meet the Chief” event on the city’s Eastside saw the Central Florida Congresswoman on the offense against incumbent Marco Rubio, confirming the expectation that she would, like most Democrats in 2022, argue that Roe V Wade is on the ballot.
“Let this homegirl in her hometown make this clear,” Demings, who grew up in Jacksonville, said. “When I decided to start my family I didn’t have the Governor’s permission. I didn’t ask my Congress for permission. I dang sure didn’t ask my Senator’s permission. And they need to get out of our business and leave the personal decisions, the intimate decision to women.”
The ruling, authored by Justice Samuel Alito, would overturn Roe v. Wade, the case that laid the legal framework for federally legal abortion. If the draft ruling becomes reality, it will uphold a Mississippi law that bans abortion after the fifteenth week of pregnancy, matching a Florida law.
Ahead of the event, Demings sent out a press release spotlighting resurfaced Rubio remarks saying that the “radical” Senator didn’t support abortion even in the cases of rape or incest.
Demings already presented a tougher challenge than that faced by Rubio in 2016, when Patrick Murphy conceded Duval County to him in the General. This year’s challenger has a wedge issue, and a proven appeal. It’s worth noting that hundreds of people came to hear her speak on the Eastside, on an evening with a very crowded school board meeting across town.
“We are not going back, we are not sitting down, we are not shutting up,” Demings said. “We’re going to fight.and fight and fight someone for a woman’s right to choose.”