April 15, 2022 Updated 9:10 A.M. ET
KISSIMMEE (FLV) – At a bill-signing ceremony Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis enacted landmark pro-life legislation that bans most abortions after 15 weeks.
“This is a time where these babies have beating hearts. They can move. They can taste,” he said of babies past 15 weeks into pregnancy. “We are here today to protect life. We are here today to defend those who can’t defend themselves.”
DeSantis invited multiple state leaders on the issue, including Simone Marstiller, the Secretary of the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA).
Marstiller told her story of her experience with abortion decades ago, but Florida Democrat State Representative Anna Eskamani preferred Marstiller remain quiet.
“[I] fell pregnant at 19, and went to a physician to confirm that,” she said. “Because of how I looked, right, certain assumptions were made, and I was handed a referral for abortion.”
“I didn’t get a conversation or counseling about pre-natal care – none of that,” she went on.
“I talked to my mother about it, and we decided – no, no, not gonna go that way. Kept my baby,” she said.
“For those who are mothers in the room, I enjoyed being pregnnat. I enjoyed getting stretched marks, I loved it,” she remarked to laughter in the room.
“When that yelling, screaming baby was born, and they laid her on my chest, and she fell immediately silent – I knew, I knew, that I had done the right thing.”
Marstiller noted that while the pregnancy was challenging, she went back after the pregnancy to finish her college degree: “I had to go on welfare to do it, but I did it.”
She noted that she lost her house and went into debt to have the baby, but noted she now has the “good fortune” to be working with DeSantis in promoting pro-life legislation.
And if the only reason, the only purpose that I have on this earth was to have been the vessel for the child that came through me to serve her purpose, then I am more than happy that that’s my purpose in life … I hope, and I assume, that there is at least somebody out there listening to my voice who will be encouraged by my story, by the story you just heard – don’t listen to the narrative that people are trying to push on you, ‘you’re young, you need to do this because your life will be ruined, blah blah blah,’ that is not the case … choose life, you’ll be fine and wall will be well.Agency for Health Care Administration Secretary Simone Marstiller
In response, Eskamani, a known pro-abortion activist, took to Twitter to lambast Marstiller for telling her story.
“Wow. The Secretary of AHCA who oversees abortion providers in Florida is currently speaking about her anti-abortion stance. How is that appropriate?! She’s a public administrator not a politician!,” she exclaimed to her followers.
DeSantis Press Secretary Christina Pushaw noted that public school teachers have also been known to push their ideology on students, like that of transgenderism and critical race theory.
“Now do public school teachers,” Pushaw fired back.
Marstiller was joined by other women who encouraged pregnant women to not end the life of the child within them.
The law has few exceptions to permit abortion and will take effect July 1, 2022. It was authored by State Representative Erin Grall (R).
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