Fort Lauderdale (CBSMiami) — After Florida lawmakers filed an abortion bill similar to the one recently passed in Texas, protesters across the state took to the streets Saturday.
“When they say no choice we say pro-choice,” chanted the about thousand people who came together to speak out against the Florida Heartbeat Act.READ MORE: Attorney For Key Ally Of Venezuela Leader's Nicolas Maduro Called His Extradition To The US Illegal
The bill which was filed this week would ban abortion after embryonic cardiac activity, which some say can be as early as 6 weeks into a pregnancy.
“We have healthcare needs we have education and environmental needs and yet within 48 hours, the priority of the Florida Legislature is to attack woman’s bodies and right to choose. This is an assault on people’s right to have safe and free abortions,” said Emma Collum, who organized the rally at Huizenga Plaza in downtown Fort Lauderdale.
Attendees included several high-level politicians like U.S house of Representatives Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Commissioner Nikki Fried, who’s running for governor.
“It’s absolute hypocrisy. The Republican Party right now, especially the radical right are going around and made a culture war and have politicized wearing mask, saying it’s all about freedom of choice and giving freedom of choice to parents whether or not to have a mask for their kids going to school but yet when it comes to the most precious decisions between a woman and a doctor it’s no longer by choice and freedom,” said Fried.READ MORE: Haiti Gang With Past Abductions Blamed For Kidnapping Missionaries
Rally attendees vowed to fight the bill, they even got volunteers for a similar protest in Tallahassee in the coming weeks.
Some, like State Representative Robin Bartleman, shared personal stories of why they feel a ban on abortions would cause more harm than good.
“I was born in 1972, so I always grew up with a right to choose. Having the ability to control my body, and I was faced with that choice when I was told my fetus was abnormal,“ said Representative Bartleman.
“It was the most difficult decision of my life and I thank God every day that I have that choice and I’m going to protect reproductive freedom for all,” Bartleman went on.
Others, like rally attendee Christina Currie, say there are also economic ramifications that should be considered.MORE NEWS: Miami Police Investigate Bomb Threat
“If a person has an unwanted pregnancy and therefore many people who would oppose the idea of helping to fund that child’s life to make sure that they have in a positive outcome, yet they don’t want to allow those people to have abortions. It makes no sense.”