Florida Democrats charged after abortion rights protest

Author: Associated Press
Published: Updated:
Sen. Lauren Book, seated right, along with Democratic Chairwoman Nikki Fried, seated left, and about a dozen activists who were protesting SB 300, which would place a ban on abortions after six weeks, are arrested outside the Tallahassee City Hall building, Monday, April 3, 2023, in Tallahassee, Fla. (Alicia Devine/Tallahassee Democrat via AP)

The chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party and a Democratic state lawmaker have been charged with trespassing after refusing to leave a protest in Tallahassee against a bill to ban abortions after six weeks.

Democratic Party Chairwoman Nikki Fried and Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book were among a small group of protestors arrested late Monday near the state Capitol building and charged with misdemeanor trespass.

The demonstration came hours after the Republican-controlled state Senate approved a proposal to ban abortions after six weeks. The bill, which has the backing of Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, is expected to pass the Legislature and become law.

Videos on social media show people chanting “shame” as officers led protestors away in handcuffs. The Tallahassee Police Department issued a statement that said protestors were told they would have to leave after sunset, but 11 people refused to go and were arrested for trespassing.

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