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Central Florida lawmakers react to Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade

Photo: U.S. Supreme Court
Photo: U.S. Supreme Court

Central Florida lawmakers are speaking out after a Supreme Court decision released Friday ends constitutional protections for abortions that had been in place for nearly 50 years.

Republican Congressman Mike Waltz is applauding the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, which now places the issue of abortion in the hands of state lawmakers.

“For those who believe that the unborn are living children that deserve every protection, they didn't have the ability over the last 50 years since Roe vs. Wade to make their voice heard," said Waltz. "They now have that chance. Every American has that chance through their state legislatures.”

Repubican Governor Ron DeSantis released a statement saying the prayers of millions have been answered in Friday's decision eliminating a woman's constitutional right to an abortion and said he will "work to expand pro-life protections" in Florida.

DeSantis signed into law a ban on most abortions after 15 weeks. The new law goes into effect July 1.

But other state lawmakers are voicing opposition to the decision. Orlando Democratic State Representative Anna Eskamani said the governor is "scared" and said most Floridians support abortion rights.

"I dare Republicans to pursue an abortion ban as the voters will wake up and hold you accountable for pursuing such an extreme and anti-women and anti-freedom agenda," said Eskamani.

In responding to the decision, Orlando Democratic State Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith is focusing on LBGTQ rights, which he says are "actively under attack."

"The far-right for generations has tried to impose their definitions of family, their definitions of sexuality and their definitions of gender on others in ways that have directly attacked, not only the right to safe and legal abortions, but also the rights of LGBTQ people to exist," said Guillermo Smith.

Abortion supporters planned a rally in Orlando Friday evening to discuss the future of abortion, calling on supporters to take the issue to the ballot box.

Congressman Mike Waltz said Republicans know that abortion advocates will bring the issue to the upcoming midterm elections.  "I certainly understand them," he said. "I disagree with them. But I understand they can make those concerns felt at the ballot box. They can vote for state legislators, state representatives, state senators, that are that are weighing in on this issue of when life begins."

Brendan Byrne is Central Florida Public Media's Assistant News Director, managing the day-to-day operations of the newsroom, editing daily news stories, and managing the organization's internship program.

Byrne also hosts Central Florida Public Media's weekly radio show and podcast "Are We There Yet?" which explores human space exploration.