Today, the Florida legislature passed a bill with Texas-style restrictions on safe, legal abortion that could close down health centers throughout the state. The bill would also block access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers in Florida for thousands of patients.
Through this one bill, Florida would strip many women of their access to basic health care, such as cancer screenings, birth control, and abortion. In doing so, Florida would do the damage that took Texas years to inflict on women.
Background to the Bill
This omnibus bill — which was just sent to Governor Rick Scott's desk — comes just days after the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument on similar, medically unnecessary provisions in a Texas law that shuttered health centers across the state. It also comes soon after the Court issued an order to temporarily block a law with similar provisions from going into effect in Louisiana.
Governor Rick Scott has 15 days to sign or veto the bill upon receiving it.
Abortion Restrictions Would Shut Down Health Centers
The politicians behind this bill claim the abortion restrictions in the bill are intended to improve women’s health. But the reality is that these restrictions will do just the opposite:
- In fact, a New York Times analysis published on Sunday shows that Google searches for how to self-induce an abortion have skyrocketed in recent years in states that have restricted access to safe, legal abortion.
- This follows a study from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) last November that revealed at least 100,000 Texas women may have attempted to end a pregnancy on their own, without medical assistance.
"As a health care provider, Planned Parenthood knows how laws like this leave women devastated. Women in Texas have been forced to drive hundreds of miles to access abortion, or self-induce abortion without medical supervision. Now Florida is poised to follow Texas’ shameless example. At Planned Parenthood, our doors are open. We are here for our patients and will fight this with everything we’ve got."
—Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America
Attack on Planned Parenthood Would Impact Thousands of Patients
The bill would also block access to birth control, cancer screenings, STD tests and other care for the more than 5,500 Title X patients and nearly 2,000 Medicaid patients served by Planned Parenthood in Florida.
Research shows the impact of blocking care to Planned Parenthood patients. In February, the New England Journal of Medicine published groundbreaking research that showed the devastating consequences for women after politicians blocked access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers in Texas: It led to a 35% decline in women using the most effective methods of birth control and a dramatic 27% spike in births among women who had previously had access to injectable contraception.
"This reckless legislation would leave thousands without access to birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment. And it could shutter access to safe, legal abortion across Florida. Governor Scott must veto this bill to protect access to reproductive health care, including safe, legal abortion, for all Floridians."
—Laura Goodhue, executive director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates