On January 20, Florida State University students from the Catholic Student Union (CSU) and Students for Life joined tens of thousands of students, families, and professionals in Washington D.C. to march in the largest annual human rights protest in the world, the March for Life. The March for Life first took place forty-nine years ago, exactly one year after the landmark Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade was decided on January 22, 1973.
An estimated 20,000 supporters flocked to the nation’s capital in 1974 to protest the creation of a right to abortion nationwide. Since then, the event has drawn hundreds of thousands of marchers annually, with an estimated 650,000 people attending in 2013.
A Supreme Court victory did not deter this year’s March for Life supporters. Despite the ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization in June of 2022, which effectively overturned Roe v. Wade by returning the issue of abortion to state legislatures, supporters of the pro-life movement marched to laud the overturning of Roe.
The atmosphere at this year’s March for Life was different from that of years prior, emphasizing the next steps in a post-Roe America supported by a celebratory attitude. Jeanne Mancini, the president of the March for Life, addressed the crowds in Washington by announcing, “While this year marks our most significant victory, the human rights abuse of abortion is far from over.” The future of abortion policy now rests in the hands of the state governments.
What does abortion policy look like in Florida?
Florida currently has a fifteen-week ban on abortion, and it is likely that Governor Ron DeSantis will increase restrictions in Florida in the coming months. After legislatures in surrounding states implemented restrictions, including a six-week abortion ban in Georgia and a complete elimination of abortion access in Alabama, Florida has seen an increase in demand for abortions. This is especially true in the Florida Panhandle, as it is geographically close to these other states.
A culture of life at Florida State
Despite Tallahassee currently serving as a hotspot for abortion access, the culture of life is prevalent at Florida State University. While many students traveled for the annual March for Life, many more who could not make the trip are cultivating a post-Roe environment through volunteering at women’s clinics that offer counseling and support, advancing legislation in the state, and educating their peers on the facts surrounding this issue.