MIAMI (WSVN) - South Floridians on both sides of the abortion issue voiced their opinions about the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs Wade, and local leaders joined protesters who oppose the ruling in events held in Broward and Miami-Dade counties.
Friday evening, 7News cameras captured pro-choice demonstrators marching near the area of Northwest 26th Street and Northwest Third Avenue in Wynwood.
Protesters walked for about a mile alongside Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava.
“Politicians making decisions for our bodies, for our futures, for our families? Unacceptable,” said the mayor.
Pro-choice activists at the march said they are saddened by the Supreme Court’s decision, and they are going to stand together and fight against it and at least let their voices be heard.
One activist said she believes that is a war against women.
“I think that this definitely motivates people who care enough, and I can’t sit back and not do anything,” said Michelle Isgut.
Levine Cava echoed protesters’ concerns.
“This is a most fundamental right that has just been taken away,” she said. “It is truly a most devastating moment for our future, and we will fight back, we will change the laws, we will make sure that these protections are restored.”
Men and women of all ages chanted in unison and held signs. One sign read, “Bans off our bodies, Miami.”
“I was upset. I cried. It’s sad to live in a country that treats women not as human,” said demonstrator Alyssa Satara.
“This decision is devastating. The rights of women and girls to determine their own choices, their own health care decisions – 50 years we’ve had this right, and now [they’ve] rolled back the clock,” said Levine Cava. “My own grandchildren, what are they going to face?”
In Fort Lauderdale, a pro-abortion protest began at around 6 p.m. on Friday.
Many attendees at the demonstration let out a scream in unison. Participants said they want politicians and everyone in Washington, D.C., to hear them roar and that this is only the beginning of their fight.
Among the attendees calling for immediate action was Florida State Sens. Lauren Book and Tina Polsky.
“Let’s be angry — scream, shout — and then let’s get to work to bring back pro-choice women into the Florida Senate come November,” said Book.
“We have no choice but to focus everyone on voting in November, because I am sure Governor [Ron] DeSantis is going to put forth a ban on abortion, a complete ban. This 15-week [ban] isn’t enough for him,” said Polsky.
Earlier on Friday, anti-abortion activists held up their signs and megaphones outside of the Women’s Center on Cypress Creek Road in Oakland Park.
“That decision, back in 1973, was a big mistake,” said an anti-abortion activist who identified himself as Peter. “Overturning it is long, long, long overdue.”
“I think it was the right decision — constitutionally, morally, spiritually — and it spells freedom for unborn children,” said anti-abortion activist Jesse Cowell.
The Archdiocese of Miami also agreed with the overturning of Roe’s 50-year precedence.
“This is a very good decision,” said Archbishop Thomas Wenski. “However, it is important to remember today’s decision does not outlaw abortion in the United States, but it does return decision making about abortion policy to the people.”
However, at the Women’s Center, just feet away from where protesters gathered, panic erupted inside.
“We have had phone calls, I mean, males are the ones calling us, are already freaking out,” said Leda Lanca, an employee at the facility. “Fathers don’t want to be fathers. They just want to spread the joy, love, and then they don’t want to be responsible for what they leave behind.”
For women, the Supreme Court’s decision is disheartening and shocking. Some who spoke with 7News said they may have lost the battle right now, but the war for reproductive freedom is far from over.
“I’m from France, and I’m shocked,” said Lola.
“I don’t see how they think they can control our bodies,” said Lanca.
Spokespeople with Planned Parenthood said this is a travesty for women and America.
“All I can feel is anger, anger that our rights have been ripped away once again,” said Jessica Marino with Planned Parenthood. “Anger that the same politicians who co-opted and used my body, my choice against vaccines, are celebrating and stripping away our bodily rights to abortion today.”
“What does that leave us in the state of Florida?” said Marianne Ruiz. “That leaves us with the laws in Florida, and what law do we have that was passed this year in Florida? It was a 15-week abortion ban with no exception for rape and no exception for incest, which is absolutely unacceptable.”
Floridians can still have abortions. However, a new law that bans abortions after 15 weeks goes into effect July 1.
DeSantis said he plans on expanding pro-life protections and placing more limits on abortions.
Organizers who demonstrated the protest in Wynwood said they are planning more marches, but nothing has been set as of Friday night.
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