“Shame on you:” Protesters rally against parental-consent bill in FL Legislature

Protesters rally against parental-consent bill in Florida Legislature. Credit: Danielle J. Brown

Abortion rights advocates rallied Tuesday against a parental-consent bill that would limit access to abortions for minors, protesting against lawmakers who support the bill as well as Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who favors the legislation.

A poster board reading “Governor DeSantis, shame on you” was one of several large signs showcased at the rally in downtown Tallahassee.

State Sen. Kelli Stargel, bill sponsor and Republican representing parts of Lake and Polk counties, received the same treatment,  with protesters chanting,  “Kelli Stargel, shame on you.”

The legislation, SB 404, requires parental consent to an abortion for anyone under 18. Physicians would face a third-degree felony if they provide an abortion to a minor without parent consent.

The Senate postponed the vote on the bill for later this week, as protesters continued to rally. Some lawmakers said that there wasn’t enough time Tuesday to thoroughly discuss the legislation.

Aurelie Colon, regional organizer for Planned Parenthood for South, East, and North Florida, targeted the heavy foot traffic near the Capitol building.

With her microphone in hand, she led protesters in various chants to reiterate their opposition to the bill.

“We choose when to procreate because church and state don’t ovulate,” Colon shouted to the crowd.

Kayla Lawson, Planned Parenthood organizer for Broward County, continued the protest down the street. The group engaged with passing cars and celebrated when cars, buses, and a UPS truck honked back in support.

Opponents are worried that the bill, if approved, would endanger young Floridians, and create rollbacks on various abortion rights and access.

Protests will continue into the afternoon with abortion rights advocates occupying the Capitol building into the evening.

Anti-abortion groups also went into the Capitol later in the afternoon, staying on the opposite side of the abortion rights supporters on the 4th floor.

That group had a sign saying, “I am part of the pro-life generation.” Another sign said: “Vote for life first.”

Danielle J. Brown
Danielle J. Brown is a 2018 graduate of Florida State University, majoring in English with a focus in editing, writing, and media. While at FSU, she served as an editorial intern for International Program’s annual magazine, Nomadic Noles. Last fall, she fulfilled another editorial internship with Rowland Publishing, where she wrote for the Tallahassee Magazine, Emerald Coast Magazine, and 850 Business Magazine. She was born and raised in Tallahassee and reviews community theater productions for the Tallahassee Democrat. She spends her downtime traveling to all corners of Florida and beyond to practice lindy hop.