GOP-Controlled Florida Legislature Passes 15-Week Abortion Ban Despite Outrage From Floridians

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WASHINGTON — The Republican-controlled Florida legislature yesterday passed a bill to ban most abortions after 15 weeks with zero exceptions for survivors of rape, incest or human trafficking — an appalling and extreme attack on reproductive rights. This bill has sparked outrage from editorial boards and constituents across the Sunshine State and falls far short of the standard set by Roe v. Wade that is supported by the majority of the American people. 

“Florida Republicans steamrolled this abortion ban through the legislature, ignoring widespread outrage from Floridians, the personal experiences of sexual assault survivors, and criticism from health care experts and providers,” said DLCC President Jessica Post. “Their goal is indisputably clear: not health and safety, but cruelty and control of others’ bodies, lives, and futures.” 

Miami Herald: In the abortion debate, Florida Republicans tell rape and incest victims ‘tough luck’ – “It’s a bad look for a lawmaker to tell pregnant victims of such horrific crimes ‘tough luck,’ so sponsor Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, tried to frame Book’s amendment [to provide exemptions for pregnancies that result from rape, incest or human trafficking] as anti-victim and pro-criminal. She said it would leave room for perpetrators to force an abortion to cover up their crime. Providing survivors a bit of relief after a horrific experience doesn’t even appear to be a consideration.”

Orlando Sentinel: Abortion bill hits hardest at the most vulnerable – “Lawmakers want to claim victory on an issue that’s a far-right priority, even if it means they must trample the most desperate, the youngest, the most victimized.”

Letter to South Florida Sun-Sentinel: Abortion law with no exception for rape is torture –“Forcing a young woman who’s a victim of rape or incest to go through nine months of pregnancy and deliver a baby is child abuse.”

Tampa Bay Times: Florida’s 15-week abortion ban would be cruel –“Why cruel? It’s not just that there are no exceptions for rape or incest or human trafficking. And it’s not just that a fetus isn’t viable at 15 weeks, which means it can’t survive outside the womb, yet the state would invade a woman’s privacy — and her body — to take such a fundamentally private choice away from her. No, it’s cruel because these bills would steal the decision from parents who desperately want to have a baby, but the fetus has such horrible medical issues that it may survive birth only to die after a short painful life.”

Letter to The Orlando Sentinel: 15-week abortion ban is unfair, unsafe –“Everyone deserves the freedom to make their own decisions about their bodies, lives, and healthcare; it is a human right. The state of Florida should protect our freedoms, not place restrictions on them.”

Letter to The Palm Beach Post: Florida shouldn’t trash Roe v. Wade –“Roughly 60% of Americans support Roe v. Wade, including many women of faith. According to Catholics for Choice, a nonprofit that believes in reproductive freedom, the majority of Catholics believe abortion is morally acceptable, and 57% of U.S. Catholics believe abortion should be legal. We cannot return these procedures to the back alleys.”

Letter to The Tampa Bay Times: How dare the Legislature criminalize the vital medical care I provide – “I am aghast that politicians with no medical training are attempting to impose a one-size-fits-all regulation on an extremely precarious, sensitive area of medical practice… Every person and every pregnancy is different. The complexities of this must be acknowledged. Patients’ and families’ decisions must be listened to and their lives must be cherished.”

Letter to The Sarasota Herald-Tribune: Effort to control women’s bodies sad to see –“I read with horror and anger Feb. 18 the article regarding the Florida Legislature moving forward with a stricter and more punitive abortion law limiting a choice that a woman might make. What a travesty!”

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