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Friday 24 June, 2022

Florida For All Coalition Statement: Floridians deserve the freedom to control their own bodies and their futures

FLORIDA -- Today’s US Supreme Court ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturns Roe v. Wade, leaving the decision to the states where the rights to health care freedom for millions of Americans will be effectively eliminated. 

The Florida For All coalition believes that no matter who we are, where we live, what we look like, or how much we make, all Floridians deserve the freedom to control their own bodies and their futures. Floridians don’t need cruel laws criminalizing life saving, essential medical care which will be absolutely devastating to all communities. 

Jonel Edwards, Co-Executive Director at Dream Defenders offered the following statement:

“The criminalization of the right to choose will impact Black, brown and poor birthing people at alarming rates. Rich white people will always be able to legally access abortion. Access to reproductive health care has always been a racial justice issue."

Pastor Rhonda Thomas from Faith In Florida added:

“Overturning Roe v. Wade is unacceptable, creating significant, even life-threatening unforeseen problems moving forward. Women don't need the government involved in her health care decisions at any level. Today's ruling is an opportunity to mobilize and vote for those who care about everyday people and their freedom to make choices about their bodies and their futures.

Roxey Nelson, Executive Vice President of 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest union of healthcare workers in Florida, offered the following statement:

“As so many of us have feared, the Republican-appointed justices on the Supreme Court have reversed Roe vs. Wade, gutting reproductive freedoms, protections and health care for tens of millions of women in the United States. This will be especially tragic in states such as Florida with a legislature and governor who have already passed radical and intrusive limitations on women’s freedom and right to self-determination.

“The decision to terminate a pregnancy is personal and always with serious consideration. The state, activist judges, idealogues and cynical politicians have no business sticking their nose in these intimate conversations between a woman, her loved ones, and her doctor. 

“Our organization of caregivers, largely made up of women, understands what this decision will mean for our daughters and granddaughters. A reversal of Roe vs. Wade after 50 years isn’t going to end abortions, but it will make women’s lives harder, and it will put the most marginalized women in danger. Women will suffer and some will die.

“To preserve our deep and personal rights and critical reproductive health care, it’s essential that we not only make our voices heard today, but also show up to the polls this November to elect leaders who will truly serve the people and protect our vital freedoms.” 

Executive Director of Florida Rising, Andrea Mercado, made the following statement in response to the Supreme Courts’ decision:

“The privacy rights and reproductive rights of millions will now be impacted by the decision made by the Supreme Court today. This will not stop abortion in the US, it will only make it more costly and more dangerous. Women of color and poor women will suffer the highest fatalities as a result of this careless decision. 

“In a Country where the freedom of choice is celebrated, and privacy is protected, this decision flies in the face of our stated values. I hope this decision will fuel all voters this November and ensure their state legislators, Congress, and all elected officials know that our freedom of choice matters and will be demonstrated with our vote.”

Yareliz Mendez-Zamora, Federal Campaign Lead for the Florida Immigrant Coalition stated: 

“This is a sad day not only for women, but every single person in the United States as our Supreme Court ruled against a woman’s sovereignty over her life and health. Sadly, history has shown us that those who will be impacted the most are Black and brown women who have lacked access to humane and decent health care, minors, immigrants, and those with mental illness. For immigrants in detention, this is atrocious. Sexual abuse in detention facilities has been documented throughout the years. In an El Paso detention center, the sexual abuse by ICE has been found to be systematic. Tens of thousands of complaints have been filed all over the country against DHS agencies since 2010. It is incredibly frightening to see this country taking rights that we have so feverishly fought for and throwing them out the window. It is more than apparent that this court is made up of conservative activists who rule on cases from that lens. The land of the free is a slogan that is too grande for what we're experiencing; this is not freedom.”

Adriana Rivera, Communications Director for the Florida Immigrant Coalition added: 

“As a person who lives with a life-threatening condition, pregnancy is something that my husband and I have ruled out. After discussions with my doctor, the plausible complications to my life or the life of a potential child is the reason why we decided against it. If my birth control were to fail and I were to get pregnant, I would have to travel to another state to get medical care, if we choose to terminate the pregnancy; and that is because we are lucky enough to be able to afford out-of-state travel. This decision has put unnecessary stress on our family and has caused me great anxiety. Upon hearing the news this morning, my first reaction was to cry. I can’t even imagine being in this position without the option to travel for care.” 

Denise Diaz, Co-Director of Central Florida Jobs with Justice added:

“We cannot fight for an economy that works for us all when the denial of any form of health care, including abortion restrictions and lack of access to contraception poses serious financial consequences for working people and communities of color. Deciding if, when, and how to raise a family can ultimately affect our earnings, benefits, working conditions, and our ability to thrive within our own communities. Central Florida Jobs with Justice will not stop our fight for gender, racial, and economic justice and the liberation of all people, including people seeking to control their destinies by accessing abortion.  We must keep fighting until every person has the freedom to make their own decisions about their lives and futures.”

Media Contact

Natasha Sutherland