HIALEAH, FLA. (WSVN) - Advocates on both sides of the abortion issue took to the streets of South Florida on the 49th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe vs. Wade decision.
7News cameras captured a large gathering of protesters in Hialeah voicing their support of a woman’s right to choose, Saturday afternoon.
“When people’s right’s are under attack, what do we do?” screamed a protester.
“Stand up, fight back!” other demonstrators yelled back.
The landmark Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973 allowed abortion access across the United States.
“Forty-nine years since the Supreme Court affirmed the constitutional right to abortion in Roe v. Wade,” said U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Fla.
North of the county line, in Fort Lauderdale, pro-life advocates came together. Demonstrators held signs that read, “Pray to end abortion.”
“What we are doing today is really celebrating. Even though it is a sad time, because we have lost so many lives, we also are very thankful that it looks like the demise of Roe might be in our future,” said Tewannah Aman, the executive director for Broward County Right to Life.
The country could be on track toward a pivotal moment that could lead to a sweeping rollback of abortion rights in many states, including Florida.
Earlier this month, two bills were introduced in the Florida legislature, one in the Senate and one in the House, that would ban abortions after 15 weeks.
“Florida, you know, lots of states are under attack in Republican-led legislatures, and Florida is at the top of the list,” said Florida State Sen. Lori Berman, who represents District 31.
Jessica Merino with Planned Parenthood, one of the participants in the Hialeah protest, had a message for Florida lawmakers.
“We will fight abortion bans like House Bill 5 and Senate Bill 146 every step of the way to keep abortion accessible in Florida,” she said.
The nation’s highest court has signaled it may be ready to impose tighter restrictions on abortion, or even outright overturn Roe vs. Wade, after it rejected a request to block a Texas bill that bans abortion after six weeks.
Supreme Court justices have also taken up another case involving a Mississippi law that bans abortion after 15 weeks, just like the Florida bills.
Abortions are currently legal in the Sunshine State up to 24 weeks.
We are excited about the developments,” said Aman. “We are excited about the things happening amongst us, but every life matters.”
If the Florida legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis approve the bills, the new law would go into effect on July 1.
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