If Florida’s anti-abortion movement feels encouraged by new laws and the Supreme Court’s likely ruling on. Roe, this is not so visible around Miami. The city has previously seen passionate demonstrations over issues of importance to Cuban society there – the fate of Elian Gonzalez, for example, and the death of Fidel Castro brought thousands of people to the streets. I saw no triumphant protesters at the clinics I visited in Hialeah; when I got to Planned Parenthood in Coral Gables around noon, the Catholics who gather there to pray and distribute literature on the sidewalk for about two hours Saturday morning were already scattered. A pair of Planned Parenthood volunteers in pink shirts stood near the door of the open clinic with a dog (also in a pink shirt). They had been asked not to speak to the press.
There were also no protesters outside the abortion clinic in Miami’s Little Havana, and the ladies in a salon next door called Get Nailed declined to share their opinion on abortion. However, about half a mile down Calle Ocho, the cultural backbone of Little Havana, outside the Versailles restaurant, a different kind of demonstration started up. Miguel Saavedra stood with friends at a Dodge Ram, from which Cuban, American and Trump 2020 flags flew, and others began to gather. Saavedra said he was against abortion except in emergencies, but that was not what this demonstration was about: it was about protesting against Joe Biden, who he believes is bringing socialism to America.
Compared to the broad impact of rising gas or grocery prices, the number of people directly affected by abortion is relatively small. But the fear among some of where state policy is heading is no less real. “I think DeSantis and Rubio, my God,” Routt said. “I think they’re enjoying the opportunity to strengthen their GOP base, which is now more in line with the Trump – era policies, which is unfortunate because these policies are … the most extreme when it comes to building on past traditional views on how women should be in society. ” Deans, the doctor who performs abortions at the clinic where Routt received her, said she believes Florida’s new and potential future abortion restrictions have made her patients “more angry and more likely to make their voice heard with their voice. ” Fernandez of Sidewalk Advocates is not angry: she is hopeful, and she believes there should be a complete nationwide ban. “I believe there will be a change, but it will take time. It is like a wound that we have to take care of.”
Meanwhile, there is a large group of Florida women who have also had abortions and have not engaged in activism in any direction. If they expected to move on, they could now be drawn into a debate they were not seeking. But many of those I spoke to doubted that the result, whatever it was, would weaken the Republicans of the state. Valerie from Panhandle is actually a registered Republican, just so she can vote in her part of the state where the primary election determines the outcome because “a Democrat will not be elected up here.” She is still grieving over her own abortion; her daughter Rebecca had given birth in May. “If life had been friendly, I would have a newborn right now,” she said. But she also says she is “scared” of what new abortion restrictions could come in her state, and the idea that her daughters will not have the same opportunities she had. “I think what I really want people to know is that we are not bad people,” she said. “We really make the best decision we can.” Dana Sloope’s husband Adam, who describes himself as left-wing, said he sees abortion policy as a tug of war between extremes of left and right. “And everyone in the middle is being dragged through the mud.”
In Tallahassee a few days later, the Florida Voice for the Unborn, an anti-abortion lobby group, hosted a “Day of Action” on the steps of the historic capital. A media advisory had promised in advance that “more faithful legislators for life” had confirmed speaking times and that “members of the governor’s staff are also expected to attend and can also speak.”
The hope was to attract the attention of lawmakers, who met across the brick yard of the current Capitol building for a special legislative session on property insurance. Three Republicans from the House showed up at the meeting. State Representative Dana Trabulsy (R-Fort Pierce) attended, but told Voice for the Unborn founder Andrew Shirvell that she did not want to speak. State Representative Barnaby, whose abortion ban was based in the Legislative Assembly earlier after six weeks, told rally participants he would not follow the House leadership on abortion unless they pushed for a complete ban. State Representative Randy Fine (R-Palm Bay) confessed that life begins at conception and said that “if there is anything unfair about the whole debate that I hate, I wish we men should too.”
They spoke to a crowd of about 50 people. No one from the governor’s office showed up.