Florida state Rep. Fentrice Driskell (D), one of five state legislators who met with Vice President Harris at the White House on Friday to talk about abortion rights, said Harris is “in for the fight” and recognizes the head winds Democrats in Florida face on the issue.
“I certainly got the sense from the vice president that she believes that Florida is a key state, and that it is important for the administration to direct some attention there because of the battles we’re facing,” Driskell said.
Driskell, a Democrat from Tampa and the leader of the Florida House Democrats, told Harris that “the White House and all of America pay attention to what is happening in Florida. We are a microcosm of our country and, I believe, the best indicator of what we can expect from Republicans in 2022 and 2024.”
Abortion is still legal in Florida, but a controversial law backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) that went into effect July 1 prohibits abortions after 15 weeks and makes no exceptions for rape or incest. The law is being challenged in court.
Harris invited Driskell, along with Democrats from state legislatures in South Dakota, Indiana, Nebraska and Montana, to the White House to discuss the role states can play in restoring abortion rights across the country.
Driskell said she recognizes that many abortion rights activists are becoming impatient with the Biden administration over the issue, but the executive order Biden signed Friday could lead to congressional action.
“I think we’re all still hurting and still processing that Roe has been overturned and now everyone feels like, ‘What do we do now?’ And we want these insta-solutions,” Driskell said. “But conservatives have been building this up for over 40 years. And so the road back is going to take some time.”