OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has made new pledges to state residents following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion throughout the country.
“The prayers of millions have been answered. For nearly fifty years, the U.S. Supreme Court has prohibited virtually any meaningful pro-life protection, but this was not grounded in the text, history, or structure of the Constitution,” he noted in a statement, WTSP10 reported.
“By properly interpreting the Constitution, the Dobbs majority has restored the people’s role in our republic and a sense of hope that every life counts,” the GOP governor added.
“Florida will continue to defend its recently-enacted pro-life reforms against state court challenges, will work to expand pro-life protections, and will stand for life by promoting adoption, foster care, and child welfare,” DeSantis said.
The statement comes after DeSantis recently signed a bill banning abortions in Florida after 15 weeks. There are no exceptions for rape, incest, or human trafficking, but there is an exception if the life of the mother is at risk.
Other Florida leaders responded to the Roe ruling as well.
Rep. Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor of Florida turned Democrat who is now running for the state’s top job under his new party, said:
“My heart is heavy for women across our country and in the Sunshine State who, with this decision, are losing their federal protections for the freedom to make their own reproductive decisions.
“Under Ron DeSantis, freedom for Florida’s women has been under attack. And with today’s decision, the fate of reproductive freedom in our state is now squarely in the hands of the governor and the state legislature. For Florida’s women and for all Floridians, this November’s election is the most consequential in modern history.
“I’m running for governor to protect Roe v. Wade. On day one of the Crist Administration, I will sign an Executive Order to protect a woman’s right to choose. Fighting every day for the women of our state will be a cornerstone of my administration. It’s time to get organized, get energized, get voters registered, and turn out the vote to protect women’s freedom.”
Nikki Fried, the state’s agriculture and consumer services commissioner who is also running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, noted:
“This is a tragic day for women in America. The freedom to make our own choices about our lives, our bodies, and our healthcare is fundamental to our humanity. It’s absolutely devastating to have those rights taken away. It’s not an exaggeration to say that women and girls will die as a result of this decision.
“Women will now be forced to stay with abusive partners, to carry dangerous and unviable pregnancies to term, to be refused life-saving medical care, to seek out unsafe and illegal ways to have an abortion, to bear children conceived through rape and incest, and to endure a host of other indignities too varied and disturbing to describe. It will have a catastrophic effect on women’s economic prospects and participation in the workforce. It has and will be disastrous for our mental health. It’s cruel and inhumane, and it’s the result of Republicans’ years-long war on women and our rights.
“In Florida, for now, we still have a provision in our state constitution that protects abortion rights – although that is in question as well. I promise that we will fight with everything we have to keep that from being overturned.”
Sen Marco Rubio (R) said:
“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to allow states to regulate abortion was right constitutionally and morally.
“For nearly half a century, a nation founded on God-given rights denied those rights to its most vulnerable citizens and more than 63 million Americans never got the chance to pursue their dreams.
“But we must not only continue to take steps to protect the unborn, we must also do more to support mothers and their babies. I will soon introduce a bill to ensure we do everything we can to give every child the opportunity to fully access the promise of America.”
Sen. Rick Scott (R), also a former governor, noted as well:
“The importance of today’s decision by the Supreme Court cannot be overstated. For nearly 50 years, our country endured flawed legal reasoning that invented an implied constitutional right to abortion while stripping authority from lawmakers according to the will of the people. Today, the Court correctly interpreted the Constitution, defended human dignity and the foundational principle of federalism, and rightly declared that there is no constitutional right to end the life of an unborn child.
“I firmly believe that life begins at conception and that every child deserves to be welcomed into this world with open and loving arms. Abortion ends a life. It is abhorrent and has no place in our society. While we celebrate the Court’s latest ruling, the fight to protect the sanctity of life is not over. Lawmakers and the pro-life movement have the responsibility to make adoption more accessible and affordable and do everything in our power to meet the needs of struggling women and their families so they can choose life. We cannot stop fighting until every life, born and unborn, is valued.”