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By Representative Webster Barnaby

Six-week abortion bans are unconstitutional attempts by opponents of safe and legal abortion to, in effect, ban abortion outright.

HB 167 fails to protect people who become pregnant and in fact harms families. It forces politics into our personal, private lives. This law is designed to intimidate physicians and other clinic staff out of providing abortion care. This bill encourages anyone — including anti-abortion protesters — to enforce a ban on abortion by suing abortion providers and anyone who helps a person obtain an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. This takes away a person’s ability to make their own private medical decisions and is an intrusion into a doctor’s ability to provide the safest and most appropriate medical care.


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HB 167 fails to protect our health and in fact harms families.

Such an extreme ban would have devastating consequences on the health and lives of Floridians.

Leading medical groups including the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists oppose laws that limit access to abortion — because they pose health risks by reducing timely access to safe and legal abortion.

By criminalizing physicians, this bill creates a wedge between the doctor and patient and thereby harms people who become pregnant. Doctors should not be prevented from using their best medical judgment because some politicians disagree with a person’s private medical decision.

Even if we disagree about abortion, we can all agree that it is best when our health care professionals are able to provide safe and reliable medical care without fear of criminal penalties.

Banning abortion is deeply unpopular.

Polling makes clear that Americans want abortion to be a safe and legal experience for patients. Politicians who try to block access to abortion are not only on the wrong side of reproductive justice, they are also on the wrong side of public opinion.

Six in 10 voters in Florida want Roe v. Wade to be upheld in the Supreme Court and want abortion in Florida to be safe.

Polling was conducted online from February 28-March 4, 2021. Using its Bias Correct Engine to attain a representative sample, Change Research polled N=2,327 2020 voters in Florida, with oversamples in SD6, SD19, SD35, and SD39.

Six-week bans are part of an agenda to ban all abortion.

This legislation is intended to ban all abortion in our state. It is important that abortion remain a safe and legal medical procedure for a person to consider if or when they need it. The truth is that abortion is a critical component not only of health care, but of the ability to lead free and fulfilling lives with dignity and autonomy. A ban like HB 167 would only force it underground and deny people the care they need.

HB 167 is blatantly unconstitutional.

HB 167 bans abortion as early as six weeks into the pregnancy. At six weeks, most people don’t even know they’re pregnant.

HB 167 would ban all abortion in the state without exception once a pregnancy had reached roughly six weeks – even for victims of rape and incest.

This bill would be one of the most extreme abortion laws in the country – even more extreme than Texas’ SB 8 – and so clearly unconstitutional that it would likely lead to costly legal action, costing taxpayers more of their hard-earned money.

In Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court held that states may not ban abortion before viability for any reason.

Similar laws have been challenged in court because they place a serious burden on access to care by restricting the safest and most expeditious medically necessary or even life-saving reproductive health care.

As recently as October 2019, a U.S. District Court judge blocked Georgia’s six-week ban, arguing “Under no circumstances whatsoever may a state prohibit or ban abortions at any point prior to viability.”

Abortion is okay! Abortion is safe and common, and we should be able to get care when we need it.

These abortion bans are designed to shame and stigmatize us for our health care decisions and make getting an abortion more difficult. We should be able to get any health care we need without shame, unnecessary restrictions or political interference.

We deserve access to abortion. It’s time to demand our right to timely, compassionate abortion care.

We have the right to an abortion. People should be able to control their own bodies, lives and futures.