“Florida's Strictest Abortion Bill in History” Passes Last Committee, Heads to Senate Floor
Contact: Contact: Damien Filer / [email protected]
For Immediate Release: Feb. 21, 2022
15-week abortion ban legislation passes Senate Appropriations Committee and heads to Senate floor for final vote
TALLAHASSEE, FL – Today, after weeks of contentious debate and public testimony against the politically motivated effort to impose a 15-week abortion ban in Florida, the Senate Appropriations Committee, chaired by bill sponsor Kelli Stargel (R- Lakeland), passed CS/HB 5 with no exceptions for rape, incest or human trafficking. This unconstitutional move for the government to rob individuals of their reproductive freedom goes against the will of Floridians and the advice of medical experts.
“Today, our Senators showed us that they think they are better equipped to make medical decisions about someone’s pregnancy than the pregnant person, their family, or their doctor,” said Stephanie Fraim, Chair of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates. “Floridians want the freedom to make their own private, medical decisions. Not to be told what to do by politicians in Tallahassee. This cruel and careless law strips people of the right to control their own bodies and their futures.”
Planned Parenthood Action Fund launched an ad last week calling on Floridians to tell Governor Ron DeSantis to “stop attacking our rights.” See the ad here.
“Most people don’t realize many of these politicians we send to Tallahassee to represent our interests try every year to restrict access to safe and legal abortion,” said Lillian Tamayo, Treasurer of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates. “Now, with the protections of Roe hanging in the balance at the Supreme Court, these politicians are giving in to their most extreme tendencies.”
“People need to understand, If this bill passes, abortion for almost any reason after fifteen weeks will be illegal in the state of Florida,” said Fraim. “It won’t matter if you are raped, trafficked, or even if you are a victim of incest. It won’t matter how dire a fetal diagnosis you may get. The course of your life, your future will be in someone else’s hands. That’s a scary thought.”
“This bill will change the law to say that the government, not you, gets to decide what you do with your own body,” said Tamayo. “If the Florida Senate wants to pass this ban on abortion they’ll have to explain to Floridians why they supported a bill that will victimize survivors of rape and incest a second time when the state robs them of their bodily autonomy too.”
We don’t know each person’s unique situation. What we do know is that a ban on abortion will have devastating consequences for people in the most difficult situations.
If the U.S. Supreme Court dismantles Roe v. Wade by upholding a similar Mississippi ban in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health or overturns Roe altogether, by this summer, abortion access will be decimated for millions of people — not just in Florida, but across the Southeast and Midwest.
The fast-tracking of this 15-week abortion ban is an alarming reminder that even in states where reproductive rights have historically been protected, abortion access can quickly be dismantled. In Florida, all that now stands between individuals having control over their own bodies and this bill becoming law is a final vote in the Florida Senate and a signature from a governor who has already signaled his support for the government taking away people’s freedom to make their own medical decisions and decide their own futures.