MIAMI—Democratic gubernatorial nominee Charlie Crist held a “Latinas for Choice” campaign rally at the famed Ball & Chain restaurant and bar in Little Havana, where the one-time Pro-Life Republican governor of Florida anchored his campaign on the issue of abortion.
The Crist campaign appears to be focused on running on the abortion issue, as his running mate, former Teachers Union President Karla Hernandez-Mats, reaffirmed Crist’s and support for a woman’s right to choose.
While opposing the recently-signed 15-week abortion law that Gov. Ron DeSantis signed, neither Crist nor Hernandez-Mats have openly stated where they stand on late-term abortions or abortions that occur after 20 weeks of gestation.
We caught up with Hernandez-Mats shortly after Crist left the stage and asked her if Florida lawmakers in the state legislature should raise the length of the 15-week abortion ban that was signed into law by Gov. DeSantis.
“I think the floor needs to be what Roe vs. Wade was,” said Hernandez-Mats. “We know that he hasn’t stopped, that he wants to ban it completely. We know right now that there isn’t even an exception for rape or incest, think about that. Human trafficking, that’s inhumane.”
@KarlaforFlorida says she supports the Roe v. Wade decision of legalizing all forms of abortion
"I think the floor needs to be what Roe vs. Wade was."
— Javier Manjarres (@JavManjarres) October 12, 2022
The Floridian: What would you like to see happen?
Hernandez-Mats: I think the floor needs to be what Roe vs. Wade was. That means we have to take it back to what it was because right now there is already a 15 week.
The Floridian: Is there any compromise with Republicans to see if they can extend it to 18 or 20 weeks?
Hernandez-Mats: I think it's tough to ask a woman to compromise on being a full human being. Why can’t women make decisions on their own? Compromise with that.
Hernandez-Mats does not say whether or not she supports abortions after the 15-weeks, but by saying that she is not willing to compromise, voters could get the perception that she is open to women having abortions into the second and third trimesters.
In addition, Roe vs. Wade allowed for all forms of abortions, including late-term abortions, so by Hernandez-Mats calling for abortion rights to be reinstated as they were before Roe vs. Wade was struck down by the Supreme Court, could show that she is open to allowing for abortions late in pregnancy.
Former Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, a self-styled “Latina for Choice,” introduced Hernandez-Mats to the crowd of about 200.
Also in attendance were State Senator and congressional candidate Annette Taddeo, and State Senate candidates Janelle Perez and Raquel Pacheco.
“We will not go back,” stated Pacheco.
Perez took the stage and warned that the movement to end abortion was “all about control.”
“We're gonna have to make a decision. We're all gonna have to choose on whether we want freedom or more restrictions on our bodies,” added Perez.
Crist has already vowed to veto any Republican abortion ban bill if he defeats DeSantis in next month's 2022 midterm election.