Updated: May 16
The Jacksonville area chapter of the National Organization for Women (Jax NOW) stands in strong opposition to efforts to make abortion illegal in Florida. Many of our members attended the rally in Tallahassee as we protested the bill that seeks to violate our Florida Constitution and deny more than half of Florida residents valuable health care. Here are two blog posts: https://www.jacksonvillenow.org/post/debate-on-abortion-on-4-13-2023-on-the-house-floor
Poll after poll shows abortion bans are NOT supported by the majority of Floridians. A recent Florida poll showed 75% of Floridians oppose this bill. Take a look at Kansas. They had a referendum on the ballot to remove abortion access and it was voted down decisively.
Abortion is health care and this bill bans abortions with few exceptions; there is an exception for rape, but the victim has to report the rape to the police and get a police report. Victims of sexual assault don’t always report the crime and that should be their choice. Forcing them to report the crime can be traumatizing for a variety of reasons.
Appropriated in the bill is millions to fake clinics; sometimes called pregnancy resource centers or crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs). Fake clinics do NOT provide comprehensive reproductive health care—or much of any "health care" at all! Instead, they use phony ads to trick pregnant people into making an appointment, promising “free ultrasounds” or “pregnancy support.” Once inside, people are lied to, shamed, and pressured about their reproductive health decisions, often delaying them past the deadline for a legal abortion. If the goal is to reduce abortions, that $30 million appropriation in the bill should go towards sex-ed classes and affordable and accessible contraception via the Health department and financial aid to families in need via the Department of Children and Families.
In addition, this bill requires abortion pills to be given in person by the physician which isn't necessary and would increase the cost to the patient, and could delay a person's ability to timely take the pills. Abortion pills are safe and effective. Telehealth is being utilized in many areas and this should be an option.
Obstetricians and gynecologists are in short supply in Florida. This bill will make it worse because they’d rather practice in other states where the state government isn’t interfering with their ability to provide care. Women are dying already, and more will die. Our country has the highest maternal mortality rate of nearly any developed nation, and it's getting WORSE every year. More rural hospitals in Florida may close their obstetrics units if the Florida courts don’t rule that the 15 week abortion ban violates Florida’s Constitution.
Abortion is a safe, essential part of comprehensive health care, and just like any other safe and effective medical intervention, it must be available equitably to people, no matter their race, socioeconomic status, or where they reside. When abortion is legal, it is safe. Restrictions and outright bans on this essential component of medical care, results in an increase in the inequities that already plague the health care system and this country. These oppressive laws will force many people to face the known risks associated with continuing a pregnancy, including potential pregnancy-related complications and worsening of existing health conditions, as well as the morbidity and mortality associated with childbirth. The impact of this irresponsible decision will fall disproportionately on people who already face barriers to accessing health care, including people of color, those living in rural areas, and those without ample financial resources.
Jax-NOW fully supports safe and legal abortion, affordable and effective birth control and other contraception, medication abortion, telemedicine for reproductive care, and reproductive health education for all! This is a personal medical decision where politicians (or anyone else) do not belong. You will never stop abortions, only safe abortions. Women will die.
Update on 5/10/2023: There is a petition to get abortion rights into Florida's Constitution. Read about it here: https://www.jacksonvillenow.org/post/please-sign-the-petition
Please vote OUT the legislators who voted yes on SB 300, the bill that will make abortions illegal in Florida if the courts rule that the privacy clause in Florida's Constituion doesn't protect abortion rights. People that voted yes on that horrible bill don't represent us. Vote them out! Link to the House vote.
Link to Senate vote
Do the abortion bans violate the privacy clause of our Florida Constitution?
Yes this will impact availability of doctors AND even hospitals...please see these articles. https://www.medpagetoday.com/opinion/second-opinions/103545
Indeed, in the news release, the hospital cited a variety of reasons for the closure, including the state of Idaho's "legal and political climate." "Highly respected, talented physicians are leaving; recruiting replacements will be extraordinarily difficult," the hospital wrote. "In addition, the Idaho Legislature continues to introduce and pass bills that criminalize physicians for medical care nationally recognized as the standard of care." The news encapsulates how the overturning of Roe v. Wade exacerbated the slow unraveling of America's labor and delivery clinics — which have been slowly closing over the past decade, leaving millions of women in what researchers call maternity care deserts.
Dated March 9, 2023:
A new poll from the University of North Florida’s Public Opinion Research Lab asked registered voters across Florida about a number of policy issues, including proposed constitutional amendments and bills that have been filed or proposed ahead of the 2023 session of the Florida legislature.