Anna Eskamani weighs in on Supreme Court’s arguments on abortion rights

Anna Eskamani of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida

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Last Wednesday, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a Mississippi case that bans abortions starting at fifteen weeks of pregnancy. Several conservative justices indicated they were likely to vote to uphold the Mississippi law. If so, it would threaten to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that legalized abortion across the U.S.

Supreme Court oral arguments

On the show, we heard a short clip from the SCOTUS oral arguments. It was Justice Sonia Sotomayor asking the Mississippi solicitor general what the law says about whether a fetus experiences pain and how whether the viability of a fetus is legally relevant.

Rep. Anna Eskamani

On WMNF’s Tuesday Café, Seán Kinane interviewed Orlando-area Democratic State Representative Anna Eskamani to get her thoughts about the oral arguments in the Supreme Court.

Many states have trigger laws that go into effect if Roe v Wade is overturned. We talked about what would happen in Florida if Roe is overturned. And about Florida’s constitutional privacy amendment.

What if Roe is overturned?

Eskamani said that if abortion rights are threatened, it might encourage more Democrats to vote. “I do. And I think that’s why Republicans are hesitant, here in Florida, to follow through with what Texas did. I think that’s why Republicans are pursuing a fifteen-week abortion ban and are trying to act like this is more moderate or reasonable,” Eskamani told WMNF.

“And I think that’s what I really want anyone who cares about this issue to be aware of is that fifteen weeks is extreme. No matter how many times Republicans try to say it’s not, it is.

“It’s a complete insult to the status established under Roe v Wade and is politically motivated and attached to a larger agenda to ban abortion. So, fifteen weeks is not moderate.

“I also get so frustrated because being in the minority party, the Republican caucus gets to set the agenda. So they get to establish what ‘normal’ is. But we have to remind ourselves that this is not normal. None of this is normal.

“And so many of the same people that support these anti-abortion bills were also supporting the (January 6, 2021) insurrectionists. And supporting calls that (2020) election results were fake or fraudulent. This is all tied to, unfortunately, a larger disinformation machine that’s all designed to control people. And to put us into a political spectrum that does not benefit the needs of everyday people and instead focuses on those who are in political power.

“So I really encourage folks to be mindful of some of this messaging. Because they’re trying to paint this as if it’s not extreme. But you have to push back against that and share your stories. And again, ground ourselves in the fact that this is a personal medical decision about someone’s pregnancy. And politicians do not belong in it.”

Manatee County’s attempt to outlaw abortion

The Bradenton Herald reports that Florida’s Republican Attorney General responded to members of the Manatee Board of County Commissioners who have been attempting to introduce an ordinance to ban abortions in Manatee County.

The general counsel for Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody sent them a letter saying, “the county is not authorized to adopt an ordinance regulating (other than reasonable zoning ordinances) or banning such clinics because such an ordinance would be preempted by Florida law.”

Rally for Reproductive Freedom Jan. 12

Eskamani spoke about a Tallahassee rally for reproductive freedom planned for January 12, 2022. It’s hosted by Floridians for Reproductive Freedom.

Watch the interview here:

Also on the show, we spoke with a University of Florida immunologist who found mutations in the coronavirus omicron variant that may enhance its transmissibility.