Last year the Florida Legislature, overwhelmingly dominated by conservative, anti-choice members, introduced 18 bills to inhibit women’s access to the health care of their choice. Five bills passed. Now, as the 2012 session gets underway, 10 more bills have already been brought forward. Last week, the Florida Legislature debated three anti-choice bills in committee (HB 277, HB 839 and HB 1327). Instead of focusing on improving women’s health, the Legislature is again attacking women’s rights – and endangering our health.
It’s time for our elected officials to stop playing politics with women’s health.
The following bills were voted out of a legislative subcommittee last week – along party lines:
- HB 277 is an omnibus anti-choice bill that would further limit access to reproductive health care by preventing new health centers from opening and by adding unnecessary government regulation of and restrictions to abortion care.
- HB 839 is a “one size fits all” bill that would cause harm to women by banning abortions at 20 weeks with no exceptions for a pregnancy that is a result of rape or incest, or for a woman’s mental health or fetal abnormalities – even those that can go undiscovered early in a pregnancy.
- HB 1327 would require a physician to sign an affidavit stating that she/he is not performing an abortion because of the potential race or sex of a fetus or because of the pregnant woman’s race. This bill is designed by abortion opponents to polarize the public at the expense of women.
During a time when Floridians struggle to overcome economic hardships – and Florida women’s health is at risk because of insufficient access to affordable, quality health care – some elected officials are trying to score political points at women’s expense. This is unconscionable – enough is enough. Our state legislators were elected to create jobs for the jobless and bolster Florida’s faltering economy – not to promote government interference in the choices women and families make about their health care.
Tell your legislators that they need to focus on improving women’s health, not attacking women’s rights. To find your state representative, go here.