FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Advocates of women’s rights met on Tuesday to protest in Fort Lauderdale. They were reacting to news that abortion may no longer be protected as a constitutional right in the United States.
Politico published a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a challenge to a 15-week ban on abortions.
“We need to do everything that we can. That’s why you are seeing rallies like this throughout the state,” said Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation.
Dana Sanchez wore a red cloak and a white bonnet to attend the rally. She was invoking Margaret Atwood’s dystopian novel turned Hulu show, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which creates a world dominated by a far-right Christian theocracy.
“Our rights are about to be stripped. We are going to eliminate 50 years’ worth of precedent,” Sanchez said.
Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried said “right-wing radicals” are taking women back to “a dark, dark time.” Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy — without exemptions for rape or incest. The law goes into effect on July 1st.
“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,” DeSantis said during a news conference.
Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito signed the leaked draft. His argument to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade protections centers on abortion not being mentioned in the Constitution
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito wrote.
Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., released a statement saying the draft was authentic — but not final. He said court employees have a tradition of respecting the confidentiality of the judicial process.
“This was a singular and egregious breach of that trust that is an affront to the Court and the community of public servants who work here. I have directed the Marshal of the Court to launch an investigation into the source of the leak,” Roberts wrote.
Representatives Charlie Crist and Ted Deutch said access to comprehensive reproductive health care, safe abortions, and woman’s right to choose have to be protected. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz released a statement.
“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.”
Senators Marco Rubio and Rick Scott both criticized Democrats’ responses.
“Every life is precious and should be protected. Today’s Democrat Party refuses to accept that,” Scott wrote on Twitter.