Within an hour of the Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v. Wade, Progress Florida announced a coalition of groups are gathering in St. Petersburg for a “Bans Off Our Bodies” protest later that afternoon.
“Today’s decision represents an unconscionable attack on our fundamental right to control our own bodies, opening the door for millions of people across the country to lose access to safe and legal abortion,” said Amy Weintraub, Reproductive Rights Program Director at Progress Florida.
“This decision won’t change the fact that people across the country will always need abortion care, but it will further embolden anti-abortion politicians to push for the nationwide total ban on abortion they’ve sought all along.”
Groups participating in the event also include Pinellas NOW, West Pinellas NOW, NAACP-Pinellas, LWV St. Petersburg Area, Equality Florida, Women’s Advocacy Movement of Pinellas, Fired Up Pinellas and Indivisible FL-13.
Charlie Crist, Congressman and Democratic candidate for Governor, is planning to be at the rally.
“On Day 1 of the Crist Administration, I will sign an Executive Order to protect a woman’s right to choose,” he said in a statement. “Fighting every day for the women of our state will be a cornerstone of my administration.”
Writing the opinion of the Court, Justice Samuel Alito said, “Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority. We now overrule those decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives.”
Joining him were Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. Chief Justice John Roberts concurred with the judgment. Dissenting were Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan.
The Bans Off Our Bodies protest is set for 5 p.m. at North Straub Park, 400 Bayshore Dr. NE, in St. Petersburg.