Government

Supreme Court Overturns Roe v. Wade: Local Politicians React

Rachel Friedland (right) hugs U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz on May 3, 2022, at a rally supporting guaranteed federal abortion rights.
Rachel Friedland (right) hugs U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz on May 3, 2022, at a rally supporting guaranteed federal abortion rights. Photo by Joe Raedle via Getty Images
Earlier today, in a bombshell foreshadowed months in advance by the leak of a draft decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled by a 6-3 margin to overturn Roe v. Wade, signaling a nationwide attack on women's reproductive rights.

As word spread of the high court's official ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson, demonstrations erupted in Washington, D.C., and across the nation, staged by groups on both sides of the abortion divide.

While Democrats and pro-abortion activists lament the latest in a series of blows from the rightward-tilted bench, Republican legislators are praising the decision as a triumph, even as nationwide polls show that a substantial majority of Americans support legal abortion in some form, which Roe has guaranteed since the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 ruling, decided by a 7-2 margin.

In Miami, GOP officials are taking a victory lap on social media while their counterparts across the aisle seek to leverage the controversial decision as fuel for the upcoming midterm elections.

Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Miami promptly posted a statement proposing a plan for a "post-Roe America," calling the Supreme Court decision a win for states' rights.

"On Friday, the Supreme Court released its decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization, ending Roe v. Wade," Rubio wrote in a statement posted to the Washington Examiner. "This end is long overdue. Abortion violates the most fundamental human right — the right to life — and requiring its legalization was never constitutional."
Rubio's plan involves a series of tax credits for adoptive and biological parents and would require colleges to inform students of non-abortion options in the event of a pregnancy.

Rubio's foe in the 2022 Senate race, Democrat Val Demings, took to Twitter to decry the Roe v. Wade reversal as an attack on fundamental rights for women.
"Because of today’s ruling, women will be forced to put their lives on the line, victims of rape and incest will be forced into pregnancy, and we cannot say we control our own bodies in this country," Demings tweeted.

Florida's other Republican U.S. senator, Rick Scott, lauded the decision, touting the pro-life position that life begins at conception — a concept that, at least for the time being, runs counter to Florida law, which permits abortions up to 15 weeks into pregnancy.
U.S. Rep. María Elvira Salazar of Florida's 27th district, which covers much of Miami-Dade County, celebrated the decision online in lockstep with her fellow Republicans.

"As a Christian and the mother of two beautiful daughters, I support life. The Supreme Court decision gives power back to the states and their voters," Salazar tweeted in English and Spanish.

Her opponent, City of Miami Commissioner Ken Russell, a Democrat, called the ruling a move in the wrong direction, tweeting, "Today's ruling from the Supreme Court is a step backwards for our country. Abortion should be safe, legal, and available for all women all over the U.S. I will continue to fight for a women's right to choose."
On the municipal level, Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava issued a statement in which she mourned the end of Roe v. Wade as "cruel step backwards for our nation."

Tweeted Cava, who ran for the nonpartisan county post as a progressive candidate: "To women and girls everywhere: Please know this is not the end — we will continue the long fight for the human rights we deserve with more urgency now than ever before. We did it once, we will do it again."
Cava's predecessor, erstwhile county mayor Carlos A. Giménez, who now represents Florida's 26th U.S. House District, applauded the Supreme Court for "not giving in to the social and political pressure" from those who supported Roe v. Wade.
Pro-reproductive rights groups have already planned protests around Miami Friday night. The Women's March will convene at 5 p.m. in Wynwood., while anti-imperialist group One Struggle MIA will meet at the Torch of Friendship in downtown at 6 p.m.
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Joshua Ceballos is staff writer for Miami New Times. He is a Florida International University alum and a born-and-bred Miami boy.
Contact: Joshua Ceballos