University of South Florida students support and protest new abortion bans

"Stop the (abortion) Bans" sign

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On Wednesday more than 100 students supporting and opposing women’s reproductive rights stood off head to head against each other at the University of South Florida in Tampa. Students on both sides of the controversial reproductive rights issue held handmade signs, read speeches, and chanted against one another.

Ellie Levesque, a pro-choice student, discussed Florida Legislation’s recent attempt to bring a similar Texas-style heartbeat bill here. Levesque said, “I think it’s simply wrong, and they need to acknowledge legal precedent at the federal and the state level. They need to remember a majority of Floridians support safe, legal and accessible abortion care”.

The protest took place in front of the USF Library, one of the busiest buildings on campus. Many of those in attendance came from one of two student organizations, USF Students for a Democratic Society, who chanted “My body my choice!” and on the other side, USF Students for Life, responding “It’s not your body!”.

Students for Life member, Ahmed Mlih, thinks the new abortion laws, like the one recently passes in Texas, that ban abortion after 6 weeks, will stand constitutional challenges. He said,“abortion should be a state issue, I don’t think Roe v Wade is constitutional. This isn’t something that you can enforce on a federal level, New York and California shouldn’t be telling Texas what they can do with unborn children.”

The event was filled with passion as students protested the controversial issue. Campus police were on standby during the event as protestors got overly rowdy, and police had to intervene, maintaining peace.