Florida Democrats Nikki Fried, Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book arrested after protesting abortion ban

Florida Democrats Nikki Fried and Lauren Book were arrested in Tallahassee Monday evening after protesting the state’s new six-week abortion ban.

The Florida Democratic Party confirmed Chairwoman Fried and Senate Minority Leader Book were arrested while protesting six week abortion ban. Earlier Monday, the Florida Senate passes a six-week abortion ban by a vote of 26-13.

Tonight in Tallahassee, our Chairwoman @NikkiFried and our Senate Minority Leader @LeaderBookFL have been arrested for peacefully protesting a ban on reproductive healthcare in Florida.We will update you when we know more. Florida Democrats (@FlaDems) April 4, 2023

SB 300 would cut abortion access in the state to six weeks with exceptions rape, incest, and fatal fetal conditions; those with such circumstances would be able to get an abortion for up to 15 weeks. Six weeks is before many know theyre pregnant but around the time cardiac activity may be detected.

In a statement, Tallahassee Police (TPD) said they were unable to accommodate a crowd of that size during overnight hours and told protesters they could only be on the property during “normal operating hours.”

“After multiple warnings throughout the day, protesters acknowledged they understood that anyone refusing to leave the premises at sundown would be subject to arrest. This evening, after sunset, the majority of the crowd left the property, while 11 people refused to leave despite numerous requests. They were subsequently arrested for trespass after warning,” TPD said.


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But Tuesday, recently released protesters disputed those claims.

We heard from leaders with the Sarasota-based nonprofit Women’s Voices of SWFL, who told us that six of their members had been arrested Monday.

Group founder Kaitlynn Danehy-Samitz told ABC Action News that police moved in after giving a bevy of conflicting “directions.”

“Apparently, our first amendment right, there’s no freedom of speech here in Florida,” she said.

And at a press conference Tuesday, Fried doubled down on the reason the group was gathered in the first place.

“This is a human issue and dealing with our healthcare rights!” she said.

But the chair of the state’s Republican party, Christian Ziegler, sees Monday night’s events a bit differently.

“This was a classic political stunt. I think anyone that looks at it for longer than five seconds will realize that,” he said.

The entire group is now facing trespassing charges but they say they’re already organizing new demonstrations.

​Florida Democrats Nikki Fried and Lauren Book were arrested in Tallahassee Monday evening after protesting the state’s new six-week abortion ban.