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Heroes and Zeros

These are the best and the worst of Florida's lawmakers on the issues of abortion access and reproductive health.

HERO: Rep. Fentrice Driskell

Representative Driskell brought her legal expertise to the fight, calling out the unconstitutional nature of Forced Parental Consent.

"What if instead of titling this bill 'Parental Consent,' we titled it "Taking Away the Privacy Rights That Minors are Guaranteed Under the Constitution?" Doesn't have the same ring to it does it? But that's really what we're doing."

HERO: Rep. Anna Eskamani

Representative Eskamani shared her personal testimony as a former Planned Parenthood patient and employee. As someone who worked for a healthcare provider in the past, she highlights the hypocrisy of focusing on restricting reproductive health care access while failing to address Florida’s issues with infant and maternal mortality.

"I hope in the future, when I pick my mic back up I will be waving in support of prevention legislation focused on improving adoption services, focused on supporting prenatal and postnatal care so we see a reduction in maternal mortality rates..."

HERO: Rep. Cindy Polo

Representative Polo fought to protect undocumented young people and their families. 

"Being a parent is a blessing- it is the greatest of my life but to imply or insinuate that as a parent my rights are dictated in the constitution or that my rights outweigh my sons needs and choices is just arrogance. How dare I believe that my ego comes before my child's choices?"

HERO: Rep. Tina Scott Polsky

Representative Polsky called a legislator “out of bounds” for accusing vulnerable young women of “forum shopping” if they were to speak to a judge outside of their county.  She called out the lack of compassion the House of Representatives had for young people attempting to navigate judicial bypass. “How is more information bad? Simple question!”

HERO: Rep. Shevrin Jones

Representative Jones spoke on all the actually effective things that the Florida Legislature could be doing to improve reproductive health and education.

”What if we change the conversation and expanding the conversation in sex education? What if we change the conversation for community parenting groups to help build strong families? What if we changed the conversation to contraception access?"

HERO: Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith

Representative Smith has been a tireless advocate for reproductive rights, especially at its intersection with LGBTQ+ rights.

"It is just as important for men to defend reproductive rights as it is for women. I'm a gay man and you're probably wondering what has that  anything to do with it? As a gay man, I know firsthand that my right to live proudly and authentically is intrinsically tied to reproductive freedoms for all people. That includes me, that includes you, and it also includes vulnerable young women."

HERO: Rep. Joy Goff-Marcil

Representative Goff-Marcil addresses the long-term effects of this bill on young women specifically who risk having little or no support.

“Potentially under this bill, a child could be forced to have a child and be responsible for that child until the child of the child is 18 years old and that puts the child, the mother, into poverty. We know women are forced into poverty because they are responsible for the child. Until we can get better child support laws and enforce them, then we should not be trying to pass any sort of laws like this.”

ZERO: Rep. Erin Grall

Erin Grall sponsored the House version of this bill.

She admitted during house debate that many courts weren’t prepared to grant judicial waivers and that this issue could cause our constitutional rights to privacy in this state to be questioned. When questioned, she also failed to name a single medical organization that supports forced parental consent.

ZERO: Sen. Kelli Stargel

Senator Stargel sponsored the Senate version of this bill.

She suggested on more than one occasion that young people being sex trafficked would be able to go to their parents before accessing an abortion. Showing her complete misunderstanding of how sex trafficking works.

ZERO: Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez

Representative Rodriguez despite coming from a district full of immigrants, both documented and undocumented, as well as families with mixed immigration status, Ana Maria Rodriguez failed to protect undocumented young people who have to access the judicial waiver process by voting against an amendment that would have added protections for undocumented youth.

ZERO: Sen. Anitere Flores

Senator Flores made one of the more bizarre comments during legislative session. She stated that young women get pregnant in high school for popularity. 

ZERO: Sen. Dennis Baxley

The Florida Senate has still failed to hold Dennis Baxley in any way accountable for his white supremacist replacement theory rhetoric about why abortion access should be restricted. Despite these shameful comments, Baxley was supported by his fellow Senators, including Senator Debbie Mayfield silencing and yelling at a student during the Health Policy committee who mentioned these racists remarks.

ZERO: Rep. Kimberly Daniels

Representative Daniels was one of the few Democrats to vote against this bill, Kimberly Daniels has been outspoken in her opposition to reproductive health care access.

ZERO: Rep. Al Jacquet

Representative Jacquet faced controversy where in a speech supporting the forced parental involvement bill he called a local commissioner a homophobic slur. As one of five democrats who voted for forced parental consent, he failed to protect reproductive health care and instead pushed forward legislation that harms young people.