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Describes patient impact after one month of near-total abortion ban

WEST PALM BEACH – Today, the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates marked one month of living under a near-total abortion ban with an official endorsement of Amendment 4, which, if passed in November, would limit government interference with abortion in Florida.

“In just one month under Florida’s abortion ban Planned Parenthood health centers have already seen a tremendous amount of harm done to their patients,” said Laura Goodhue, Executive Director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates. “The opportunity for Floridians to end this government-manufactured public health crisis and get politicians out of our personal, private decisions once and for all by passing Amendment 4 couldn’t come at a more pressing time.”

The devastating impact of Florida’s near-total abortion ban came into clear focus at Planned Parenthood health centers immediately. On May 1st, the day the ban took effect, they had a patient who was exactly six weeks pregnant. This patient had a previously scheduled appointment for several days prior to the six-week ban taking effect but could not get off work and had to reschedule, not realizing it would eliminate her options for care in Florida. Those few days made a world of difference. She missed her window for receiving abortion care and must now travel more than 500 miles to Virginia to access care. Most patients are being forced to travel to North Carolina, which is the closest state with access, but is still an 11+ hour drive if you are coming from South Florida. 

In another instance, they had a patient arrive at a health center after learning she was pregnant during a recent hospital visit. It was determined she was seven weeks and one day pregnant. The patient was shocked to learn how far along she was and even more terrified after she learned that Florida’s six-week abortion ban would forbid her from getting care in Florida. After some time processing the news, she realized her only option to get care was to travel to another state with access.

Doctors report that women are anxious to find out how many weeks pregnant they are, as they do not track their menstrual cycles and come seeking care after a positive home pregnancy test. Most are shocked and terrified to learn they have missed the arbitrary cutoff date. 

In just the first week of Florida’s six-week abortion ban, health centers in the southwest region of the state navigated as many patients to other states as they did in the entire month of April (50). Statewide, Planned Parenthood has navigated more than 300 patients to care options in other states outside the Southeast. To put this in context, Planned Parenthood represents less than one-third of licensed abortion clinics in the state. 

“Over the past month, Planned Parenthood doctors and nurses have seen firsthand the tragic impact Florida’s abortion ban has had on Floridians and their families,” said Goodhue. “We now urge Florida voters to support Amendment 4 this November in order to return these private medical decisions back to patients and those they trust, rather than meddlesome politicians.”



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