Two Democratic officials among 11 arrested at protest against Florida’s abortion ban | Florida

The chair of the Florida Democratic party and a Democratic state lawmaker were charged with trespassing after refusing to leave a protest in the state capital, Tallahassee, against a bill to ban abortions after six weeks.

The Democratic party chairperson, Nikki Fried, and the state senate minority leader, Lauren Book, were among a small group of protestors arrested late on Monday near the state capitol building and charged with misdemeanor trespass.

The demonstration came hours after the Republican-controlled Florida senate approved a proposal to ban abortions after six weeks. Florida currently prohibits abortions after 15 weeks.

The bill, which has the backing of the Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, is expected to become law.

A six-week ban would align Florida with abortion restrictions in other Republican-controlled states and give DeSantis a political win on an issue important with Republican primary voters ahead of his expected run for the presidential nomination next year.

On Monday night, videos on social media showed people chanting “shame” as officers led protesters away in handcuffs.

The Tallahassee police department said protesters were told they would have to leave after sunset, but 11 people refused to go and were arrested for trespassing.

On Twitter, Fried said: “We protest to honor the sacrifice of all the women who came before us, and all the women who are coming after us. Women’s rights are human rights. And human rights must be inalienable.”

Earlier, Book urged women in need of help to contact her office directly, saying on the Senate floor: “Please don’t take matters into your own hands. Do not put your safety at risk.

“No back-alley abortions. There are people and funds that will help you. No matter where you live, no matter how desperate of a situation you are in, no matter how helpless it may seem. I promise, you are not alone. Call my office.”

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