ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — With news the Supreme Court ruled to overturn Roe v. Wade, the longtime legal precedent guaranteeing the right of legal abortion in the U.S., many Florida leaders are providing comments on the landmark decision.
The 6-3 ruling was handed down Friday morning — a major decision after months of protests and years of legal fighting over abortion rights in the country.
In their dissent, Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elana Kagan wrote, "After today, young women will come of age with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers had."
Here in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis already signed a law that limits most abortions in the state after 15 weeks. The exception to this is if the pregnant person's life is endangered. The law does not have exceptions for rape, incest or human trafficking. It takes effect July 1.
Both sides of the aisle have provided statements regarding the decision. You can read them below.
Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis
"The prayers of millions have been answered. For nearly fifty years, the U.S. Supreme Court has prohibited virtually any meaningful pro-life protection, but this was not grounded in the text, history or structure of the Constitution. By properly interpreting the Constitution, the Dobbs majority has restored the people's role in our republic and a sense of hope that every life counts.
"Florida will continue to defend its recently-enacted pro-life reforms against state court challenges, will work to expand pro-life protections, and will stand for life by promoting adoption, foster care and child welfare."
Charlie Crist, U.S. Representative and Democratic candidate for governor
"My heart is heavy for women across our country and in the Sunshine State who, with this decision, are losing their federal protections for the freedom to make their own reproductive decisions.
"Under Ron DeSantis, freedom for Florida’s women has been under attack. And with today’s decision, the fate of reproductive freedom in our state is now squarely in the hands of the governor and state legislature. For Florida’s women and for all Floridians, this November’s election is the most consequential in modern history.
"I'm running for governor to protect Roe v. Wade. On day one of the Crist Administration, I will sign an Executive Order to protect a woman’s right to choose. Fighting every day for the women of our state will be a cornerstone of my administration. It’s time to get organized, get energized, get voters registered, and turn out the vote to protect women’s freedom."
Nikki Fried, Florida Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services and Democratic candidate for governor
"This is a tragic day for women in America. The freedom to make our own choices about our lives, our bodies, and our healthcare is fundamental to our humanity. It’s absolutely devastating to have those rights taken away. It’s not an exaggeration to say that women and girls will die as a result of this decision.
"Women will now be forced to stay with abusive partners, to carry dangerous and unviable pregnancies to term, to be refused life-saving medical care, to seek out unsafe and illegal ways to have an abortion, to bear children conceived through rape and incest, and to endure a host of other indignities too varied and disturbing to describe. It will have a catastrophic effect on women’s economic prospects and participation in the workforce. It has and will be disastrous for our mental health. It’s cruel and inhumane, and it’s the result of Republicans’ years-long war on women and our rights.
"In Florida, for now, we still have a provision in our state constitution that protects abortion rights – although that is in question as well. I promise that we will fight with everything we have to keep that from being overturned."
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida
"Today’s decision by the Supreme Court to allow states to regulate abortion was right constitutionally and morally.
"For nearly half a century, a nation founded on God-given rights denied those rights to its most vulnerable citizens and more than 63 million Americans never got the chance to pursue their dreams.
"But we must not only continue to take steps to protect the unborn, we must also do more to support mothers and their babies. I will soon introduce a bill to ensure we do everything we can to give every child the opportunity to fully access the promise of America."
U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Florida
"The importance of today’s decision by the Supreme Court cannot be overstated. For nearly 50 years, our country endured flawed legal reasoning that invented an implied constitutional right to abortion while stripping authority from lawmakers according to the will of the people. Today, the Court correctly interpreted the Constitution, defended human dignity and the foundational principle of federalism, and rightly declared that there is no constitutional right to end the life of an unborn child.
"I firmly believe that life begins at conception and that every child deserves to be welcomed into this world with open and loving arms. Abortion ends a life. It is abhorrent and has no place in our society. While we celebrate the Court’s latest ruling, the fight to protect the sanctity of life is not over. Lawmakers and the pro-life movement have the responsibility to make adoption more accessible and affordable, and do everything in our power to meet the needs of struggling women and their families so they can choose life. We cannot stop fighting until every life, born and unborn, is valued."
Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby
"As an adopted child myself, I am grateful for this decision. The court is finally righting a grievous wrong.
"It’s hard to believe we live in a country that has permitted the murder of 63 million innocent children over the last 50 years. Every abortion kills a human being made in the image and likeness of God who deserves the chance to grow up in a loving family.
"I particularly like that the Court mentions, in outlining views of pro-life Americans, ‘a woman who puts her newborn up for adoption today has little reason to fear that the baby will not find a suitable home.’ That is certainly the case here in Florida. Florida is a state that values life. I have been proud to support pro-life, pro-family policies that not only protect innocent, unborn babies, but also support children, parents, and other caring adults willing to raise a child who is not their own."
Manny Diaz, Florida Democratic Party Chair
"Today’s decision by five Republican-appointed Justices severely restricts the freedom of millions of women to make deeply personal health care decisions and instead impose government interference in health care decisions between women, their doctors, family, and God.
"Florida Republicans Marco Rubio and Ron DeSantis are focused on banning abortion and basic freedoms when they should be trying to improve our economy, ensure that every American can find a good paying job, and make health care more affordable. They support draconian bans on reproductive health care without exceptions when a woman’s life is in danger or for victims of rape and incest. Today’s decision gives them the power to compel their dangerous political agenda at every level, including a possible ban on the use of contraceptives.
"Democrats believe in the freedom of women to make their own personal health decisions and are committed to fighting government interference in health care decisions between women and their doctors. Conservative politicians have no right to intervene in some of the most difficult and personal choices women and their families have to make."
U.S. Rep. Cathy Castor, D-Tampa
"Ripping away our rights and freedoms is un-American - and this decision is downright dangerous. For over fifty years, women across America have had the right to make personal health care decisions with their doctors and their families. Today, the Supreme Court and the extremists who built this court majority are compromising the health, safety and economic well being of women and families. Women, families and their doctors – not politicians – should determine the timing of childbirth, make their own personal reproductive health decisions and choose their pathways in life.
"Neighbors across Florida are rightfully worried about what today’s decision means for them – Governor DeSantis and Republican legislators already have issued a costly and cruel restrictive abortion ban in the state that is illegal under the right to privacy under our state constitution. Repealing Roe v Wade affects more than just abortion care – it impacts the work and funding of health providers that people in communities across the country depend on. We need to ensure that all people have access to the quality care they need, including birth control, abortion care, prenatal care and parenting support. That’s why I cosponsored the Health Care Providers Safety Act, to combat the skyrocketing reports of violence and harassment against abortion care providers and ensure our doctors and medical professionals can operate in safe, secure environments.
"While today’s decision will be devastating for Floridians, especially our neighbors of color, I will not rest until we make Roe a law and ensure birth control remains available and affordable. We have voted in the House to do so with passage of the Women’s Health Protection Act, and today I am joining countless Americans in the urgent call for U.S. Senators to act with courage on behalf of all Americans to pass the bill. While today is a dark day in our nation’s history, our fight for freedom is not over."
FL Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-47
"This is a devastating blow to our collective freedom as women and Americans. And it follows a clear and consistent Republican effort to end the right to abortions. We have never lost a constitutional right, and now must make sure that Republicans at every level of government feel the consequences of stripping away our rights and freedoms."
"Abortion is about freedom, options, self-determination, and a free society. This SCOTUS decision completely strips us of our collective freedoms, taking away our power to control our personal decisions and handing it over to politicians. It will have a ripple effect around the nation with abortion bans already set to go into place and states like Florida planning to be next.
"We cannot forget that this fight goes beyond abortion, this decision is tied to other freedoms we have fought for, including same sex marriage and access to contraception.
"Though this is a major loss for gender equity and a horrific win for extreme conservatism we must remember that here in Florida, abortion is still legal. We must remember that Floridians overwhelmingly want abortion to remain legal, and generations before us have fought tirelessly to gain and protect the rights we have today. We must take these fights with us into the upcoming midterm elections while we continue to support local abortion providers and funds.
"This is not the time to shrink, or surrender. The antidote to despair is action. We are in a fight to make sure everyone has the power to control their own bodies, lives, and futures and despite this decision, cannot give up now."
U.S. Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City
“I fought on battlefields to protect the innocent and uphold the Constitution - abortion does neither. Our kids are the most innocent among us—at a year, at birth and before. This decision will protect millions of vulnerable, unborn babies, and that is a reason to celebrate.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.