A protestor at Planned Parenthood's "Save Roe" rally.

A protestor at Planned Parenthood's "Save Roe" rally.

Image: Allan Mestel

In the wake of leaked Supreme Court documents that indicate that the court is prepared to overturn Roe v. Wade, Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida organized a rally Tuesday at the Sarasota County Administrative Building on Ringling Boulevard.

Roe v. Wade is the landmark 1973 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that the Constitution protects a pregnant woman's right to choose to have an abortion without excessive government restrictions.

However, individual states have recently—and successfully—moved to limit access to abortions. Texas now bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and plans to do away with them entirely if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson signed legislation in 2019 that would ban abortions in the state with the exception of medical emergencies if Roe is overturned, with no exceptions in cases of rape or incest. And in Florida, Gov. Ron DeSantis recently signed into law restrictions that prevent abortions after 15 weeks. It takes effect in July.

At the rally, protestors heard from Planned Parenthood representatives and local officials, held signs and chanted phrases like, "My body, my choice."

“There is a real threat to people having access to care,” Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida chief executive officer Stephanie Fraim told us last week. “I’ve sort of been soldiering on here in Florida. We keep figuring out how to help our patients manage, but this is a really different time.”

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