ORLANDO, Fla. – Monday evening, hundreds of people gathered for a rally at The Beacham in downtown Orlando to protest potential abortion bans, led by Democratic State Rep. Anna Eskamani.
“Governor Ron DeSantis only wants to ban abortion, but he will not allow for any exceptions for rape, incest or human trafficking,” Eskamani said.
Multiple speakers went on stage, and there was also a panel of people who oppose abortion bans.
After the rally, the large crowd filed out of the establishment and took to the streets for a march.
Lori Ellis, one of the marchers, said she has been to almost every rally against abortion bans in the past couple of months.
Ellis was not surprised by the SCOTUS decision, but she said she is now dismayed about the direction the state of Florida and the country is headed.
“I thought we evolved as a society, and it’s very disappointing, but this is where we’re at,” Ellis said.
Not everyone believes abortion should be an option. Some decided to counter-protest right across the street from the rally.
A man identifying himself as “Josh” stood across from the group, holding a sign that labeled abortion as murder.
“I’m here to stand up for my pre-born neighbors. It’s really unfortunate that it’s legal in the United States to murder babies,” he said.
He said regardless of the circumstances, abortion is wrong.
“You shouldn’t punish the baby for [the] crimes of the rapist,” he said.
He hopes Florida lawmakers ban abortion completely.
Ellis said people who are not making the decision to have an abortion need to stay out of it.
“Stay off of my body, stay out of my choices. I am an adult. If I can buy a gun, if I can vote, then I can be in charge of my own body,” Ellis said.
Right now, abortion is legal in Florida. On July 1, the new Florida law that bans abortions after 15 weeks takes effect.