Rallies planned for Saturday statewide to protest anti-woman, anti-transgender drift

By: - October 1, 2021 12:50 pm

Quilt segment due to be sewn into a larger piece for display in the Capitol during the 2022 legislative session. Source: TallahasseeWomen2020

Women’s rights activists plan demonstrations across Florida — from Miami to Jacksonville to the Panhandle — on Saturday to resist attacks on abortion and transgender rights.

It’ll be part of a National Day of Action protesting some disturbing trends, including the solicitude the U.S. Supreme Court’s conservative majority is showing toward restrictions on abortion rights. The court recently let Texas’ de facto six-week abortion ban take effect and will hear Mississippi’s challenge to Roe v. Wade on Dec. 1.

Legislation copycatting the Texas law has already been introduced for the Florida Legislature regular session beginning in January.

Earlier this year, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation barring transgender girls from playing on girls’ team in high school and college, and legislation recently proposed would criminalize doctors who help transgender children adjust to their gender identities.

The protests will transpire under the shadow of HB 1, Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Black Lives Matter-inspired crackdown on political protest. A federal judge has enjoined enforcement of the law for now, but organizers warned participants not to engage with counter protesters. Also, to follow COVID protocols.

“The goal of the October 2 Day of Action is to demonstrate clearly and unequivocally that we will not allow abortion to be outlawed in this country and we will fight to protect, defend, and expand access to abortion for everyone, no matter what,” Laura Goodhue, executive director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, said in a written statement.

“Reproductive health care, including abortion and access to gender-affirming care like hormone replacement therapy, is critical to allowing people to lead free and fulfilling lives with dignity and autonomy,” Delilah Pierre, Field Director for the Tallahassee Community Action Committee, said in her own written statement. “People must be able to control their own bodies, lives and futures.”

A number of activities are planned for Tallahassee, including a march beginning at 10 a.m. from Railroad Square to the Florida Capitol. Sponsors include the Florida People’s Advocacy Center, Florida Coalition for Trans Liberation, and Dignity Florida.

Additionally, a group called TallahasseeWomen2020 has asked supporters to bring quilt segments bearing women’s-rights messages to the Leroy Collins Public Library on Park Avenue downtown; they’ll be assembled for display in the Capitol during the 2022 session. You can drop them off between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.

To find out about events in your community, check this map.

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Michael Moline
Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal. He began his career covering the Florida Capitol for United Press International. More recently, he wrote for Florida Politics.