Florida braces for effects of a restrictive abortion ban in Texas and what it means for Roe v. Wade

By: - September 2, 2021 5:51 pm

Some 8,000 protestors on both sides of the abortion issue paraded for legislators who convened a special session of the FL Legislature in 1989. The abortion issue continues to draw attention in state capitals in Florida and elsewhere. Photo by Mark Foley. State Library & Archives of Florida.

A Texas law that heavily restricts access to abortions could have astounding implications for the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, and Florida advocates on both sides of the issue expect to see Texas law seep into Florida’s 2022 legislative session.

The Florida Senate is considering a similar measure, according a statement Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson.

“Abortion kills children and forever changes the life of the mother, the father, and the entire extended family” Simpson wrote in a statement. “As an adoptive child myself, it’s important to me that we do everything we can to promote adoption and prevent abortion; therefore, I think it’s worthwhile to take a look at the Texas law and see if there is more we can do here in Florida.”

Abortion rights advocates fear that the Texas law is part of a national agenda to end abortion access, the Phoenix previously reported.

Florida Planned Parenthood Action  tweeted Thursday:

“We’re very early in the process for the 2022 legislative session and key legislators are already using extreme rhetoric to support a harmful abortion ban in Florida. It’s going to be a long fight to protect reproductive rights this year.”

Helen Aguirre Ferré, executive director for the Republican Party of Florida has tweeted that “protecting the life of the innocent wins.”

Here are some other comments about the Texas ban and its possible impact on Florida:

/Sen. Lauren Book, Democratic leader for the Senate, said in a written statement: “Any attempt to emulate the Texas abortion ban is an all-out assault on women’s rights. The introduction of such a bill would send a clear message to me, and to other survivors of sexual assault, that we do not matter — that our state leaders care more about our rapists than about us. Most women don’t  even know they are pregnant before six weeks…”

/Rep. Anna Eskamani, a Democrat who represents part of Orange County, called a virtual meeting Thursday to discuss the impact of the Texas abortion ban on Florida and how Floridians can get involved to advocate for “reproductive freedom,” according to her campaign website.

/Sen. Annette Taddeo, a Democrat who represents part of Miami-Dade County, responded to the prospect of the Florida Legislature considering a Texas-styled abortion ban in a written statement Thursday:

“Understand what Florida Republicans want to do: They want to give rapists the right to sue their victims to stop them from getting an abortion – and to be able to collect money from their victims who try to have an abortion. If Republicans get their way, rapists will have more power over this decision than the victim.”

/Florida Voice for the Unborn, an anti-abortion lobbying group called on Gov. Ron DeSantis to push for similar legislation as the Texas law in a Thursday tweet:

“Over 70K unborn babies are murdered via abortion in #Florida every year. NOW is the time to follow Texas’ lead, @GovRonDeSantis! Let’s get a Texas-style #HeartbeatLaw enacted here in the Sunshine State! ACTIONS SPEAK MUCH LOUDER THAN MERE WORDS!”

/Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, a Democrat of Orange County tweeted: “They’re doing it. The Florida House GOP majority wants to ban abortions in Florida. They just told us. BELIEVE THEM. Contact your state rep and state senator and tell them you oppose attacks on abortion access.”

/Sen. Linda Stewart, another Democrat who represents part of Orange County, said in a written statement:

“Florida Republicans want to follow in Texas’ misguided footsteps and consider an intrusive and draconian restriction of women’s constitutional rights. This is a direct attack on reproductive rights by leaders who care more about politics than the health and wellbeing of women. That should make all of us willing to fight.”

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Danielle J. Brown
Danielle J. Brown

Danielle J. Brown is a 2018 graduate of Florida State University, majoring in English with a focus in editing, writing, and media. While at FSU, she served as an editorial intern for International Program’s annual magazine, Nomadic Noles. Last fall, she fulfilled another editorial internship with Rowland Publishing, where she wrote for the Tallahassee Magazine, Emerald Coast Magazine, and 850 Business Magazine. She was born and raised in Tallahassee and reviews community theater productions for the Tallahassee Democrat. She spends her downtime traveling to all corners of Florida and beyond to practice lindy hop.