Fort Lauderdale— The Florida March of Reproductive Freedom rally took place in downtown Fort Lauderdale this past weekend to call attention to the recently-filed Texas-style “Heartbeat bill” introduced in the Florida Legislature.
After Rep. Webster Barnaby (R), filed the abortion bill less than 48 hours into the first committee week of the 2022 legislative session, Florida Democrats were outraged, but not surprised, by the filing since Republicans legislators had already signaled that they were in support of a “heartbeat bill” in Florida.
In attendance at the rally were Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried, State Senator Shevrin Jones, State Reps. Robin Bartleman and Omari Hardy, and U.S. Reps. Ted Deutch and Debbie Wasserman Schultz.
Rep. Wasserman Schultz, who has been one of the loudest and strongest supporters of abortion rights in Florida, rallied the crowd of several hundred with her story of the conception of her three children.
Wasserman Schultz said that she and her husband had to go through In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) to conceive their 22-year-old twins, but then were able to conceive their third child naturally 4 years later.
The mother of three said that she, like “millions of women have unusual or choppy menstrual cycles,” and didn’t find out she was pregnant until she was 8 weeks pregnant.
Florida’s new abortion bill makes abortion’s illegal if a heartbeat is detected just 6 weeks into the pregnancy.
“What the Texas law and the copycat Florida legislation will do is end all abortions for mostly all women because most women don’t know they are pregnant until after 6 weeks of gestation,” said Wasserman Schultz.
Wasserman Schultz then really fired up the crowd.
“Who here wants to back to the days before I was even born of back-alley abortions, women bleeding out because they had no other options. Our bodies should not be controlled by men. Our bodies should not be controlled by the government. Our body should be controlled by nobody,” yelled out Wasserman Schultz.
Sen. Jones told The Floridian that the new Republican abortion bill was nothing more than a “distraction.”
“Women, they’re tired of men telling them what to do with their bodies. This is nothing new, this is all a distraction of what we need to be doing in Tallahassee, but instead of doing real work, they come with things like this,” said Sen. Jones.