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Florida Catholic bishops 'deeply heartened' by Roe v. Wade decision

Religious leaders join pro-life groups, Gov. Ron DeSantis in supporting abortion restrictions in state
Archbishop Thomas Wenski in downtown Miami, Feb. 10, 2021
Posted at 11:25 PM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 23:40:37-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Florida's Catholic bishops said Friday they were "deeply heartened" by the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, allowing states to determine their own abortion laws.

The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a statement after Friday's decision gave states the ability to outright ban abortions.

Comprised of the eight Catholic bishops in the state, they called the nearly 50-year-old Roe v. Wade ruling "the imposition of an abortion regime that made our nation one of the most liberal of Western democratic countries on abortion."

"As a result, over 62 million children nationwide and 3,368,4751 children in Florida were denied the opportunity to live outside the womb since 1973," they said. "Mothers, fathers and families have suffered under the shadow of Roe. Now, decision-making on abortion policy is once again in the hands of the American people and their elected officials. This is a momentous step towards establishing a more robust culture of life."

The sentiment was shared by Willy Guardiola, president of the Palm Beach County Right to Life League.

Although abortion remains legal in Florida, a new law taking effect July 1 will ban abortion after 15 weeks. Guardiola believes it isn't enough.

"My interest and my whole focus is our state, you know, because all these other surrounding states are saying, 'Wow, let's go to Florida. They've got 55 abortion clinics that are open,'" he told WPTV. "And until we close those floodgates, they're going to continue coming in."

He might get his way.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, who signed the new abortion measure into law, praised the Supreme Court for having "answered the prayers of millions upon millions of Americans."

He also hinted at the idea that Florida could pursue more restrictive abortion measures, as pro-choice groups fear.

"Florida will continue to defend its recently-enacted pro-life reforms against state court challenges, will work to expand pro-life protections, and will stand for life by promoting adoption, foster care and child welfare," DeSantis said in a statement.