TAMPA, Fla. — In Florida, it is now illegal to have an abortion 15 weeks after pregnancy unless the lives of a mother or a fetus are at risk.
However, A judge in Tallahassee has vowed to temporarily block it after stating it was unconstitutional. A written order hasn’t been signed yet but it is expected after the Fourth of July.
Hundreds of people marched in Downtown Tampa to protest the new state law and the fallout from the Supreme Court’s overturning on Roe v. Wade.
Protesters gathered at Lykes Gaslight Square Park, then marched to the Sam M. Gibbons United States Courthouse.
The judge’s vow to ban Florida’s law in the short-term did not bring relief for those protesting for abortion rights.
“Not with DeSantis. We’ve got to vote these people out and get our rights back,” Savannah Rivera of Plant City said.
Protesters said they fear the Florida Legislature will pass laws further restricting abortions or will ban the procedure overall. They also said they're afraid about the impact on the health of pregnant women across the nation.
In addition, they worry about the consequences of the court’s decision on rape, incest or trafficking survivors.
“I had an abortion at 18 because I was in an abusive relationship and it saved my life, and you know, I think everyone should have that decision,” Jamie Martin of Tampa said.
Florida’s abortion law only gives exceptions if the procedure is necessary to save a mother’s life or the fetus has a fatal abnormality. Its previous law was set after 24 weeks of pregnancy.
The state plans to appeal the judge’s ruling and ask the Florida Supreme Court to reverse the decision.
"While we are disappointed with today’s ruling, we know that the pro-life HB 5 will ultimately withstand all legal challenges," the governor's office said in a statement via email. "The Florida Supreme Court previously misinterpreted Florida’s right to privacy as including a right to an abortion. We reject this interpretation because the Florida Constitution does not include–and has never included–a right to kill an innocent unborn child."