In response to this morning's news that Roe v. Wade was officially overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 6-3 ruling, Tampa Bay abortion advocates are planning two rallies in St. Petersburg this evening.
At 5 p.m., the Women's Advocacy Movement of Pinellas
(WAMP) alongside other groups will hold yet another "Bans off our Bodies" rally beginning at North Straub Park (400 Bayshore Dr. NE). The rally plans to host speakers and performers until 5:45 p.m. and subsequently march around the park.
Then at 6:30 p.m., the Party for Socialism and Liberation
(PSL) of Tampa Bay plans to meet at St. Petersburg City Hall (175 5th St. N) to "stop the Supreme Court's war on women."
Speaking with Creative Loafing Tampa Bay, Jack Wallace of PSL Tampa Bay clarified that the rally is in support of all people, such as those who are trans or non-binary, able to have an abortion. After speeches from the PSL and other allied organizations, organizers plan to march down Central Avenue.
While the rallies were planned independently of one another, co-founder of WAMP Cheyenne Cheile
told CL that "anybody coming to the support the causes are welcome."
Then on Saturday, June 25, the Tampa Bay Students for a Democratic Society will host a protest in Temple Terrace, on the corner of 56th street and Fowler, at 4:30 p.m.
The 1973 landmark case originally established the constitutional right to an abortion within the first trimester of pregnancy. Without Roe v. Wade, abortion laws can be decided at the state level with no guarantees of upholding the nearly 50-year-old precedent.
In Florida, abortions are protected under the state's constitution, and are currently legal up to 24 weeks. But last April, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality Act
, which will ban nearly all abortions after 15 weeks starting July 1. This bill is already being challenged in court.