Former gubernatorial candidate and chair of the Florida Democratic Party Nikki Fried (D-FL) and Florida Senate Democratic leader Lauren Book were arrested on Monday along with about nine others while peacefully protesting Florida’s six-week abortion ban in an outrageous move that highlights the hypocrisy and weaponization of the DeSantis regime.
Fried, sporting a “Just F**king Vote” t-shirt, Book and others were handcuffed on the steps of the state Capitol.
“Florida is on a roll today,” Sen. Book said, “Banning abortions and signing permitless concealed carry into law.”
“Guns are now less regulated than women’s bodies – and it’s easier to get a gun than to receive health care,” Book added.
“I’m out,” Fried tweeted Monday evening. “Not ever backing down. Just f-cking vote.”
Florida’s GOP-controlled Senate recently passed a bill on Monday banning abortions after six weeks.
“We protest to honor the sacrifice of all the women who came before us, and all the women who are coming after us. Women’s rights are human rights.” – Nikki Fried
I’m out. And not ever backing down.
Just fucking vote @FlaDems!!! pic.twitter.com/uCKsdVLjKJ
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) April 4, 2023
As recently as last year, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a 15-week reproductive healthcare rights ban begging the question, where does it end?
While Republicans have decried the weaponization of the federal government for political gain, Gov. DeSantis has gone all in on persecuting those who disagree with his fascist ideologies.
According to The Hill, Fried filed an ethics complaint against the Florida Führer last week alleging he accepted illegal campaign contributions from his PAC.
The arrest of Fried and Sen. Book isn’t the first time that those who disagree with the GOP state’s increasingly authoritarian policies have found themselves on the opposite ends of law and order – and in Republican crosshairs.
DeSantis took government overreach to an entirely new level after removing democratically elected Hillsborough County District Attorney Andrew Warren from his position after Warren spoke out against Florida’s 15-week abortion ban.
As culture wars ramp up, and the fight for women’s reproductive healthcare rights reaches a fever pitch, voices like Fried’s and Book’s are more important than ever.
The Republican strategy of running roughshod over democracy and bodily autonomy is on full display – and enough’s enough.
Original reporting by TheHill.com.
Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick