Nikki Fried, chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, was detained along with other pro-abortion protesters on Monday night during a demonstration in front of the state building.
After taking part in a demonstration held by Florida Planned Parenthood Action on Monday night, several activists, including Fried, who ran against Governor Ron DeSantis in the 2018 election, as well as Lauren Book, the minority leader of the Democratic caucus in the Senate, were detained by law enforcement.
The activists were holding a demonstration in opposition to the pro-life abortion legislation that Republicans in the state House and Senate were attempting to pass.
The protest occurred at the same time that the state Senate voted to ban abortions after the detection of a baby's heartbeat at six weeks of gestation.
This measure prohibits abortions after the detection of a baby's heartbeat at six weeks.
The measure successfully navigated the final obstacle that stood in its way in the Senate's Fiscal Policy Committee last week, clearing the way for a vote in the full Senate.
A fatal fetal abnormality in a pregnancy that has not entered the third trimester, rape, or incest would be considered exceptions to the general rule that abortion is illegal after the sixth week of pregnancy under the proposed legislation. Other exceptions include the need to protect the life of the mother.
“Any person who willfully performs, or actively participates in, a termination of pregnancy in violation of the requirements of this section or s. 390.01112 commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 231 775.083, or s. 775.084,” the legislation reads in part.
Fried is among those who are vehemently against the pro-life efforts. According to police, protesters were arrested for refusing to leave the premises after normal operating hours ended. The protesters can be heard shouting “shame” at officers:
Fried shared an image of her being escorted by an officer wearing a shirt that says, “JUST F**K!NG VOTE.”
“We protest to honor the sacrifice of all the women who came before us, and all the women who are coming after us,” she claimed, asserting that women’s rights are under attack:
“Florida is on a roll today… banning abortions & signing permitless concealed carry into law,” Book, who was also arrested, stated on Monday.
“Guns are now less regulated than women’s bodies — and it’s easier to get a gun than to receive health care,” she continued:
“With @FlaDems Chairman @NikkiFried being much more valuable to the @FloridaGOP’s efforts by traveling the state & turning off voters vs. being behind bars & doing no political harm to the Democrats, I may have to instruct our GOP staff to bailout Fried ASAP,” Republican Party of Florida Chairman Christian Ziegler joked:
Reports claim that protestors were detained for trespassing since they were only authorized to congregate on the site during normal operation hours and refused to leave after being urged to do so many times: