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Floridians share their personal stories about abortions later in pregnancy

TALLAHASSEE – Today the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates joined people with personal stories to tell about their abortions later in pregnancy to give them a chance to provide public testimony on SB 744/HB 351, a legislative attempt to ban abortion in the state of Florida past 20 weeks.

Full video is available here. 

Lawmakers are denying people their chance to speak out by not allowing remote testimony so Planned Parenthood arranged their own platform to speak out against this attack on abortion access in Florida.

“Traveling to Tallahassee during a pandemic is challenging and incurs unnecessary risk, so the legislature should be allowing virtual testimony from the public like we saw today. And frankly, on top of the risks around traveling due to COVID, if the people you’re going to hear from today tried to share their very personal later abortion stories in a committee hearing there is a good chance they would hear shaming remarks from legislators and not be allowed time to fully tell their story,” said Laura Goodhue, Executive Director for the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates. “Attempts to ban abortion are always wrong, but an attempt to do so in the middle of a pandemic is appalling and lawmakers need to hear from the people who have been through these experiences.”

There are many reasons a person may have to access abortion later in pregnancy: their ability to afford it, inability to travel, restrictive laws, intimate partner violence, health risks and later fetal diagnosis. Every pregnancy is different, and there are plenty of reasons a person may need to access abortion later in pregnancy, but the proposed ban ignores real world situations.

Hadleigh Tweedall from Franklin, Tennessee shared her story about a wanted pregnancy that went tragically wrong:

“Multiple specialists told me it was medically impossible for our daughter to survive longer than a few more weeks of pregnancy. Every ounce of excitement and future dream I had about our growing family was taken from me in a matter of minutes,” Tweedall said. “I am a Christian and I believe in miracles, but I also trust modern medicine. I could not stand the thought of my daughter suffering in the one place she should feel safest. I could not bond with her longer and watch my belly grow even bigger, only to say our inevitable goodbye. I could not labor for hours to deliver our dead daughter.”

State legislatures have quietly passed more than 400 laws against abortion across the country since 2011. Here in Florida, politicians have proposed 50 restrictions just in the past six years.