State Watch

Florida Republican: Abortion ban can help human trafficking victims escape captors

(Walter Bibikow/Getty Images)

A Florida GOP lawmaker said at a town hall meeting that a ban on abortion can help victims of human trafficking escape their captors. 

During an episode of CBS’s Miami affiliate show “Facing South Florida,” host Jim DeFede highlighted recent remarks made by Florida state Sen. Ileana Garcia (R) at a town hall meeting in Miami Beach. 

In the short clip, Garcia is seen answering a question on why she didn’t support an exception to the state’s new 15-week abortion ban for women who are victims of rape, incest or human trafficking. 

“So what we would like, as a matter of fact, we would like to see in the future is more of these entities like Planned Parenthood reporting these human traffickers because it’s a copy, paste, repeat,” Garcia said at the town hall meeting. 

“When the girl or the woman gets pregnant, and they can’t make her get an abortion or she doesn’t want to get an abortion or they can’t get her to a place to get an abortion, they don’t use her anymore. So they release her from the human trafficking ring,” Garcia added. “That is why we went to that point.” 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed the state’s abortion ban, which prohibits abortions from being conducted after 15 weeks, into law last month.

The town hall comments come as Politico on Monday published a draft Supreme Court opinion, written by Justice Samuel Alito, that overturns the landmark Roe v. Wade decision, which gives the constitutional right to get an abortion. 

When asked about Garcia’s comments, Florida state Rep. Michael Grieco (D), who is running against Garcia for her state Senate seat, told DeFede that the remarks at the town hall meeting were “ridiculous” and “a disgusting thing to say.” 

“Claiming that someone should be forced to carry a child to term because they would be less marketable as a commodity for their pimp is insane,” Grieco told DeFede. 

“It is one of the most ridiculous things as a former prosecutor and just a human being, somebody who handled these types of cases for years. It’s a disgusting thing to say, it’s ignorant, I don’t know where it’s coming from and the fact that somebody in elected office could say something like that should disqualify them. It’s ridiculous.” 

The Hill has reached out to Garcia’s office for comment.

Tags abortion access abortion ban abortion ban abortion rights Florida Florida Ileana Garcia Ilena Garcia Ilena Garcia Miami Beach Ron DeSantis Samuel Alito Supreme Court Supreme Court Supreme Court of the United States

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