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Download the PDF version including House and Senate voting scorecards.

Overview

The Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates is the advocacy and political arm of Planned Parenthood health centers in Florida and represents the interests of 22 health centers statewide, 15 of which provide abortion care. Floridians know they can count on Planned Parenthood for nonjudgmental, compassionate and affordable quality care. With nearly 70% of Planned Parenthood health centers in medically underserved areas or physician shortage areas, Planned Parenthood is a reliable provider for communities in need. For years, Planned Parenthood patients have experienced funding cuts to county health departments and preventive health services. Each year since 2012, Florida has experienced HIV infections rise even as they decline across the country. Planned Parenthood is proud to stand with the estimated 77,000 women, men and teens that turn to them for reproductive health services, including lifesaving cancer screenings, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, contraception services and abortion care. Planned Parenthood continues to play a critical role in meeting reproductive health care needs in communities. And yet, none of these matters deterred the conservative legislature from attacking Floridian’s access to reproductive healthcare.

In an unprecedented legislative session, elected officials introduced four onerous bills which didn’t just restrict access to reproductive health services but attempted to end all access to abortion care in the state. In addition for the first time, the Florida legislature attempted to defund Planned Parenthood health centers through the budget process. The “Florida for Life Act” filed by Representative Charles Van Zant attempted to ban all abortion services in the state and urged the United States Supreme Court to overturn Roe v Wade. The legislation has been filed for the past seven years of the Representative’s legislative term but had never received a committee hearing because of constitutional concerns. This session, for the first time ever, this unconstitutional legislation was heard in the Civil Justice Subcommittee and passed favorably with 8 Republican yeas, 2 Democratic nays and 1 Republican nay. The legislation died in the committee process but just having that one committee hearing was indicative of the hostile environment in the legislature regarding reproductive rights.

Ultimately, the legislature passed an omnibus TRAP (Targeted Regulations on Abortion Providers) bill (SB 1722/HB 1411) that lists over 10 medically unnecessary and burdensome government regulations and mandatory reporting to restrict women’s access to safe and legal abortion. The bill requires all abortion providers to have admitting privileges or transfer agreements, which are not legislatively required for any other licensed medical provider, nor are they a designation of the quality of a provider. Medical experts, like the American Medical Association and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists denounce these types of restrictions and agree that they do not make patients safer. These regulations have nothing to do with protecting women and everything to do with shutting down providers by placing unreasonable requirements on health care centers.

Simultaneously, the legislation also blocks all government funding for family planning providers that also provide abortion care. No federal or state dollars provided to Planned Parenthood are in the form of a blank check. This means that any government funds that Planned Parenthood affiliates receive are reimbursements for contraception services, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted infections and cancer screenings. These reimbursements are now prohibited under state law. A similar law took effect in Texas that would deny Planned Parenthood from any state dollars for preventive health care. A study was conducted two years after the effective date and it showed that the number of women who obtained birth control through state-funded family planning services dropped roughly one-third in requests for long-acting methods of birth control. Floridians deserve to have access to their provider of choice to receive preventive health care services to reduce the rate of unintended pregnancies and the rate of sexually transmitted infections.

This year, with the support of coalition partners and through grassroots efforts, the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates successfully defeated three other bills that attempted to restrict women’s access to health care. This report provides an overview of the bills that the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates worked on during the 2016 Legislative Session in conjunction with our allies and supporters.

Anti-Reproductive Health Legislation

SB 1722/HB 1411 “TERMINATION OF PREGNANCIES”

by Sen. Stargel, Rep. Burton

Co-Sponsors: Reps. Adkins, Ahern, Albritton, Baxley, Boyd, Burgess, Combee, Cortes (B), Costello, Drake, Eagle, Fant, Gaetz, Gonzalez, Hill, La Rosa, Magar, Mayfield, McBurney, Metz, Moraitis, Plakon, Porter, Raburn, Renner, Rodrigues (R), Rooney, Santiago, Smith, Spano, Sullivan and Van Zant.

SB 1722/HB 1411 significantly impacts women’s access to abortion care with over 10 changes to current regulations by requiring medically unnecessary admitting privileges or transfer agreements for abortion providers. It also prohibits state funding of any abortion provider for preventive health care services like cancer screening, contraception services and STD testing and treatment.

STATUS: PASSED. The legislation passed the Senate 25-15 and the House 74-44. It will go into effect July 1, 2016. To see how your elected officials voted, please visit myfloridahouse.gov.


SB 602/HB 1 “RELATING TO PHYSICIAN ADMITTING PRIVILEGES”

by Sen. Stargel, Rep. Hill

Co-Sponsors: Reps. Fant, Perry, and Van Zant

SB 602/HB 1 would have severely restricted access to safe and legal abortion by requiring all abortion providers to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, which is not a state-mandated requirement for any other licensed medical provider. Admitting privileges or transfer agreements are medically unnecessary and medical experts agree it would not make patients safer.

STATUS: Did not see legislative action.


HB 233 “RELATING TO ABORTION CLINICS”

by Rep. Trujillo

Co-Sponsors: Reps. Ahern, Gaetz, Hill, Moraitis, and Van Zant

HB 233 would have required abortion facilities to comply with regulations that are intended for facilities that perform more invasive procedures, and use higher levels of sedation than abortion requires. These laws have nothing to do with protecting women and everything to do with shutting down providers by placing unreasonable building requirements on health care centers.

STATUS: Was heard in the first House committee of reference, the Health Innovation Subcommittee, and passed favorable on a party-line vote with 9 yeas and 4 nays. Died in the committee process.


SB 1718/HB 865 “FLORIDA FOR LIFE ACT”

by Sen. Evers, Rep. Van Zant

Co-Sponsors: Reps. Adkins, Ahern, Baxley, Broxson, Burgess, Costello, Cummings, Eagle, Gaetz, Grant, Hill, La Rosa, Mayfield, Perry, Pigman, Rodrigues (R), Smith, Stone, and Sullivan

SB 1718/HB 865 is government interference at its worst and would have banned safe, legal abortion in Florida. This legislation provided no exception for survivors of rape, sexual assault or incest, and only very limited exceptions for the life and health of the woman and narrowly defined medical emergencies.

STATUS: The House bill was heard in Civil Justice Subcommittee and passed favorable in a party-line vote of 8 yeas, 3 nays. The House bill died in the committee process. To see how your elected officials voted, please visit myfloridahouse.gov. The Senate bill did not see legislative action.


HB 5001 “RELATING TO GENERAL APPROPRIATIONS”

by the Florida House of Representatives

HB 5001 is the expansive appropriations legislation that creates the state’s budget, funding all sectors of governments. This year the Florida House of Representatives took an unprecedented step of using the budget process to defund a specific provider, Planned Parenthood. This language would have taken away preventive health care services provided by Planned Parenthood, like cancer screenings, contraception services and STD testing and treatment.

STATUS: An amendment (Barcode #: 990005) was filed by Democratic Caucus Leader Mark Pafford to remove the language. The amendment failed with 71 Republican members and 1 Democratic member who voted against and 34 Democratic members and 6 Republican members who voted in favor of the amendment. Ultimately, through the budget conferencing process the language was removed from the budget and approved without specific defunding language of Planned Parenthood. To see how your elected officials voted, visit myfloridahouse.gov.


Pro-Reproductive Health Legislation

In addition to the attacks on reproductive health introduced this session, there were two bills that would have focused on promoting healthier lifestyles by providing access to preventive care and education. Below are bills that the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates spearheaded with champion bill sponsors:

SB 1056/HB 859 “FLORIDA HEALTHY ADOLESCENT ACT”

by Sen. Bullard, Rep. Fullwood

Co-sponsors: Sens. Braynon, Clemens, Sobel, Soto, and Thompson(C) and Soto. Reps. Berman, Bracy, Clarke-Reed, Cruz, Dubose, Geller, Jones (S), Kerner, McGhee, Pafford, and Rogers.

This legislation would protect Florida’s youth by requiring that all public schools that already teach a sexual health course implement curriculum that is comprehensive, medically-accurate, age-appropriate and factual, including education about abstinence.

STATUS: Did not see legislative action.


SB 1116/HB 947 “RELATING TO LONG-ACTING REVERSIBLE CONTRACEPTION PILOT PROGRAM”

by Sen. Joyner, Rep. Berman

Co-sponsors: Sen. Grimsley. Rep. Pafford.

This legislation would allow the Department of Health to establish a long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) pilot program in Hillsborough, Palm Beach, and Pinellas Counties. The program is similar to the one in Colorado that has resulted in plunging birth and abortion rates among young women.

STATUS: The Senate bill was heard in two committees, Health Policy with a favorable vote of 7 yeas, 2 nays and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Health and Human Services with a favorable vote of 8 yeas, 0 nays. The Senate bill died in the committee process. The House bill did not see legislative action. To see how your elected officials voted, please visit myfloridahouse.gov.


Other Legislation of Interest

There were several other bills that would have helped women, men, and their families in Florida. Below are bills that the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates supported:

SB 120/HB 45 “COMPETITIVE WORKFORCE ACT”

by Sen. Abruzzo, Rep. Raschein

Co-sponsors: Sens. Bullard, Clemens, Gibson, Hutson, Latvala, Margolis, Ring, Sobel, Soto and Thompson. Reps. Berman, Cortes (J), Cruz, Dudley, Edwards, Fitzenhagen, Geller, Goodson, Hager, Jacobs, Kerner, Latvala, Miller, Moskowitz, Murphy, Narain, Peters, Pilon, Plasencia, Powell, Rader, Rehwinkel Vasilinda, Richardson, Rodriguez (J), Rooney, Rouson, Stark, Torres and Watson (C).

This legislation sought to ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity or expression in public employment, public lodging establishments and public food service establishments.

STATUS: Died in committee.


 

SB 454/HB 7 “HELEN GORDON DAVIS FAIR PAY PROTECTION ACT”

by Sen. Joyner, Rep. Cruz

Co-Sponsors: Reps. Berman, Cortes (J), Jenne, Pafford, Rehwinkel Vasilinda, and Richardson.

This legislation would have established the Governor’s Recognition Award for Pay Equity in the Workplace and recognized the importance of equal pay for equal work for women.

STATUS: Did not see legislative action.


SB 74/HB 8001 “EQUAL RIGHTS FOR MEN AND WOMEN”

by Sen. Joyner, Rep. Berman

Co-Sponsors: Sens. Brandes, Gibson and Soto. Reps. Clarke-Reed, Criz, Fullwood, Jacbos, Jenne, Murphy, Pafford, Pritchett, Richardson, Stark, Watson (B) and Williams.

This bill would have ratified the proposed amendment to the Constitution of the United States relating to equal rights for men and women.

STATUS: Did not see legislative action.


 

SB 384/HB 603 “FLORIDA PAID FAMILY CARE LEAVE ACT”

by Sen. Bullard, Rep. Cruz

Co-sponsors: Reps. Berman, Pafford and Williams.

This legislation would require an employer to allow an employee to take paid family care leave to bond with a new child upon the child’s birth, adoption, or foster care placement.

STATUS: Did not see legislative action.


 

SB 480/HB 125 “RELATING TO HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATION REQUIREMENTS”

by Sen. Bullard, Rep. Clarke-Reed

This legislation reinstates the requirement for students to earn one-half credit in health education for high school graduation.

STATUS: Did not see legislative action.

Tags: Florida Legislation