These are the voices of people in the Orlando who are opposed to a 20-week abortion ban.
Carrying this pregnancy to term is potentially life-threatening, but there is no other option. I am sorry" are words I hope never to say to a patient or hear for myself. As a pre-medical student considering a career in obstetrics and gynecology and a woman who plans to have children someday, but not at the cost of my own life, I believe abortion should be a legal, safe, and accessible option for all women.
Introduced on the anniversary of Roe V. Wade, bill HB 351/SB 744 proposes a 20-Week abortion ban. In addition to being unconstitutional, HB 351/SB 744 does not consider instances of rape or the numerous personal circumstances and health complications that can arise after 20 weeks of gestational age. From life-threatening complications that women with diabetes, epilepsy, and high blood pressure can face to severe fetal anomalies that are often only diagnosable after 20 weeks, the decision to continue or not continue the pregnancy should be made by the pregnant person, not politicians.
In light of the above, I ask you, Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez, to empathize with the women who have to make this difficult and profoundly personal decision instead of making this decision for them.
Mylena Xaiver, Orlando
As a woman that is also a daughter, sister, medical provider, the climate of women’s health and access to care takes on a whole new meaning to me. The regulation of women’s body and reproductive rights is potentially one of our biggest issues we face moving forward. Even popular sci-fi series such as “the Handmaids Tale” show a very scary glimpse into what can happen moving forward with government inserting themselves into a deeply personal and complicated decision for those with child-bearing potential to make.
Decisions that typically take place in an exam room with a doctor, family, faith-based support system, not the Florida Senate and House. The timing, the terms, the procedures that have been watered down and not fully comprehended by the layperson are thrown around in meetings and on bills like SB 744/ HB 351. These are unconstitutional attempts by biased and uneducated politicians to pass restrictions on uterus-containing bodies.
Politicians who have never talked to a patient about their pregnancy and the potential consequences that may come with continuing a pregnancy. Especially during a global pandemic and when many more things are pressing. There are occurrences where us as healthcare providers need to potentially induce an abortion, this option must be available to patients. As a sister and provider, considering rape situations for patients or family is gut-wrenching; yet legislators believe they can regulate the horrific outcome of a choice that was not theirs. Separation of state and an exam room need to be implemented.
Yvette Santana, Orlando
Republican legislators, such as Rep. Ana Maria Rodriguez, introducing choice-inhibiting bills is nothing new, however in the midst of an unprecedented health crisis in Florida, and the entire country, it would be negligent for us not to look at her recent bill HB 351/SB 744 and recognize its long term short-sightedness.
While Florida struggles to contain a deadly virus and provide reasonable timelines for its citizens to be vaccinated and return safely back to work, Rep. Rodriguez has decide to focus her valuable energy as a servant of the people of Florida to introduce a bill to ban abortions for people in circumstances where it could be medically necessary. The bill makes no provisions for persons who were raped or the victims of incest, nor does it account for fetal anomalies that may be life threatening to the mother.
Instead of focusing on bills that could further restrict and damage the health of Floridians, I urge Rep. Rodriguez and her colleagues to focus on a solution to the ongoing and deadly pandemic that continues to ravage Florida and cripple its citizens. In a time where so many are suffering and continually losing their autonomy either financially, personally, or emotionally, through ongoing restrictions due to government negligence, we cannot afford to inhibit any more people in this time of crisis.
My pregnancy was carefully planned; I was 34 and my husband and I had waited years to have this child. When the results of a routine screening for birth defects showed that our baby was at risk of being born with a genetic birth defect(s), I was terrified. My pregnancy was facing a neural tube defect or an open spine which could mean death shortly after birth or a life of pain and suffering. I would never choose that for my child. I knew that at 20 weeks termination was an option, albeit one I had never thought I would have to consider.
I had an amniocentesis and waited fearfully for the results. I am endlessly grateful that the test showed I was carrying a baby boy who did not have genetic birth defects. If this had not been the case, yes, I would have been among the 1% of people who choose termination. Abortions after 20 weeks are incredibly rare, yet incredibly necessary in certain cases.
Ana Maria Rodriguez, focus your efforts on COVID RELIEF and vaccine distribution, not on unconstitutionally banning 20-week abortions! Your bill does not address individual needs or circumstances, ignores real-world victims of rape, incest, abuse, poverty, does not even address cancer patients and diabetics where abortion may be necessary for the life and health of the mother and/or her child. However we feel about abortion at different points in pregnancy, health should drive important medical decisions – not politics.
Kitty Redfern, Orlando