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See what lawmakers across Florida had to say about the Roe v. Wade abortion leak

Abortion protesters in St. Petersburg
Octavio Jones
WUSF Public Media
Dozens of protestors attended a rally in St. Petersburg on May 3, 2022, as others were held in Sarasota and Lakeland.

Politicians across Tampa Bay and Florida reacted to the news of the Supreme Court leak through press releases and on social media.

News of the Supreme Court leak of a draft opinion that would overturn Roe v. Wade drew strong reaction from Florida politicians on both sides of the debate.

Several issued statements shortly after Politico's report of the leak, while others took to social media to let their opinions be heard.

This includes the three Democratic candidates for governor. along with Gov. Ron DeSantis:

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried:

U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist:

"This is a gut wrenching day for women and reproductive freedom in our country. The Supreme Court’s decision will mean that the fight for a woman’s right to choose will be left up to each state to decide. Now, more than ever, we need to fight tirelessly to protect a woman’s right to choose. The stakes in this election could not be higher. “Early in my career, I was faced with the decision to protect a woman’s right to make decisions over her body. And I stood firmly alongside women – I stopped a bill in the State Senate that would required a 24-hour waiting period for those seeking an abortion. “I believed back then, as I do now, that the government should have no place in telling a woman what she can and cannot do with her body. That’s why as your governor, I vetoed an anti-abortion bill. And I’ll do it again. “Right now, Congress must take action to codify Roe v. Wade into law before reproductive rights are ripped away from millions. As a member of the House of Representatives, I proudly joined my colleagues in voting to make Roe v. Wade law, but now it’s time for the Senate to act. The Senate must take this up immediately, and if need be, end the filibuster to ensure its passage. The time to fight on behalf of all women is now.”

State Sen. Annette Taddeo:

“I never thought I would see the day when our own Supreme Court would strip away the rights of millions of women across this country. Regression like this is commonplace in fascist countries but has no place in a free society. Make no mistake about it, the brunt of this ruling will be felt by women who cannot afford to cross state lines, the majority of them Black and Brown, to states that allow access to this medical care. Allowing states to ban access to reproductive healthcare will only lead to an increase in unsafe, non-medical alternatives. As a mother, I am terrified for my daughter and the rest of her generation who might lose safe access to vital care. Now more than ever It’s urgent to elect a governor who will protect a woman’s right to choose.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis:

“We think we’re going to win there, but that is going to be something that we have to do. At the end of the day, it’s a mistake to read the federal Constitution to completely prohibit any pro-life protections. That’s not consistent with the text history structure. I don’t know if that (Supreme Court) opinion is going to be the actual opinion, Roberts said that’s not going to be … final, so who knows what’s going on behind the scenes."

Here's a sampling of other opinions:

House Speaker Chris Sprowls:

I have long believed Roe v. Wade represents an abuse of power to manufacture law by judicial fiat. I eagerly await the official & final opinion issued by the Court. The leak however, is a stunning breach of trust & lack of honor by the individual responsible.

State Rep. Jackie Toledo:

“The leak of the Supreme Court opinion is a betrayal intended to undermine our government. I support the Chief Justice’s investigation. We don’t know what the opinion ultimately will be, but I can tell you where I stand on this issue, we must protect life!” said Jackie Toledo, “In the Florida Legislature this year we passed a ban on abortions after 15 weeks and I voted for legislation supporting parent’s rights to be involved if a minor seeks an abortion. In Congress, I will continue to fight for the women, families and the rights of the unborn.”

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor:

For decades, women, their families and doctors have been rightfully entrusted with decisions on when to have children. Now, politicians and judges will have control over your body and your life, no matter where you live - a frightful backsliding of rights.

U.S. Rep. Greg Steube:

It is unfortunate that the news of the greatest victory for the Pro Life movement comes on the heels of one of the most profound breaches of trust the Court has ever seen. If the report is true, I am grateful that all of God’s children will now have a voice, and I am committed to ensuring that the leaker and their complicit partners in the media will be held accountable for their actions to the fullest extent.

Manny Diaz, Florida Democratic Party Chair:

Republicans like Ron DeSantis and Marco Rubio have long campaigned on overturning Roe v. Wade and banning abortion. Just last month, Florida Republicans began to wage an all-out war on reproductive rights in Florida with an extreme 15-week abortion ban, even refusing to create exemptions for survivors of rape, incest, and human trafficking. Elections have consequences, and the Supreme Court has made the stakes of this year’s elections painfully clear: we must elect Democrats at every level who will protect our reproductive freedom and vote out the Republicans who are trying to roll back our rights. This is what Republicans stand for. By overturning Roe v. Wade, they are severely limiting women’s rights to control their own bodies and make their own health care decisions. If this report is true, the Supreme Court’s decision will only embolden extremist Republicans to continue attacking the right to choose nationwide. Florida Democrats are determined to fight back against every effort to do so.

U.S. Rep. Brian Mast:

“I fought on battlefields to protect the innocent and uphold the Constitution. Abortion does neither. As a soldier, I’ve seen what true evil looks like. But as a father, I’ve seen pure innocence. There’s no doubt in my mind that every heartbeat of an innocent child is worth protecting. This decision has the opportunity to protect millions of vulnerable, unborn babies, and it is undoubtedly the right one.”

U.S. Rep. Val Demings:

Our priorities should be our national security, public safety, inflation, border security, education…but the attack on women’s rights is stronger than ever. If the report is true, our fundamental freedoms can be taken away at the stroke of a pen.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio:

Translation: Let’s change the rules of the Senate to pass a federal law legalizing the killing of unborn children right up to the day of delivery.

U.S. Sen. Rick Scott:

The Supreme Court’s confidential deliberation process is sacred & protects it from political interference. This breach shows that radical Democrats are working even harder to intimidate & undermine the Court. It was always their plan. The justices cannot be swayed by this attack.

State Sen. Lauren Book:

“We are walking into a post-Roe world. This is the reality that exists for my daughter that never existed for me. It is a very dangerous world that we are living in. People need to go and vote. We need the numbers. The reality is, and I’ve gotten a lot of questions today about … Will the governor add a further restriction on abortion in a special (upcoming legislative) session? We know that the governor can do anything he wants, and the Republican-driven Legislature will follow suit and do whatever it is he is asking for,."

State Rep. Kelly Skidmore:

“Immediately, about 25 states will ban abortion, they have trigger laws in place. So, within days, within hours of the Supreme Court ruling, abortion will be banned in nearly half the United States of America."

News Service of Florida contributed to this report.

I wasn't always a morning person. After spending years as a nighttime sports copy editor and page designer, I made the move to digital editing in 2000. Turns out, it was one of the best moves I've ever made.