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Statement from Laura Goodhue, Executive Director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, on the House Professions & Public Health Subcommittee’s passage of the 15-week abortion ban (HB 5):

“Today, Republicans in the Florida House cast what could end up being the first votes on the way to banning abortion in our state. This is not what most Floridians want. In fact, this legislation is nothing more than a blatant attempt to advance a political agenda over sound science and medicine.

“This legislation would strip us of our right to bodily autonomy and ignores real world situations. For example, a patient we recently cared for was unhoused and only discovered she was pregnant when she was admitted to the Emergency Room. She knew that her circumstances would not allow her to raise a child the way she wants to. By the time she was able to get transportation to our office she was at nineteen weeks.

“Alarmingly, this bill also provides no exceptions for when a person is raped, even if they are a minor, and only very limited exceptions for when the pregnant person learns that there are serious fetal anomalies. In these situations, it is crucial for a pregnant person to have the opportunity to think through their options based on their unique situation in consultation with people they trust, including their physicians, loved ones, counselors, religious leaders and others – but not politicians.

“This bill poses a serious threat to reproductive health, ignoring a pregnant person’s individual needs and circumstances. It is no surprise that doctors oppose abortion bans because they prevent health care providers from giving their patients the best health care possible in an individual situation – a right we all deserve to have.”