Thousands of Florida Women on Brink of Losing Access to Basic Reproductive Health Care if Scott Signs Bill

 

“This bill is one of the most expansive attacks on women’s health care we’ve seen to date.”

Washington, D.C. – This morning, Planned Parenthood launched a final bid to save the basic reproductive health care thousands of Florida women, men and young people rely on. The campaign is anchored around a six-figure TV cable and broadcast ad buy across Florida, a digital ad campaign and interactive microsite, and delivery of more than 12,000 petitions to Governor Scott from Floridians across the state. The ad features Florida patient Katie describing how Planned Parenthood is her trusted health care provider, and how the dangerous Florida omnibus bill would take away birth control and other health care she and thousands of Florida women rely on. The interactive microsite further tells Katie’s story and what’s at risk with this bill, and then invites visitors to sample the state’s shoddy list of “alternate” health care providers if communities could no longer turn to Planned Parenthood for care.

Scott must sign or veto the bill by March 26, or it becomes law automatically.

The Florida bill is the most recent in an unprecedented volume of state “defunding” measures that block access to cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment, well-woman exams and other basic reproductive health at Planned Parenthood. This follows multiple failed attempts by politicians in Congress to “defund” Planned Parenthood at the federal level. Now they’re trying to do it state by state.

Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Action Fund

“This bill is one of the most expansive attacks on women’s health care we’ve seen to date. If Rick Scott signs this bill, thousands of women across Florida could lose access to basic reproductive health care such as cancer screenings, birth control, STD testing and treatment and well-woman exams.

“Politicians couldn’t block patients from turning to Planned Parenthood health centers via Congress, so now they’re trying to do it state by state. Rick Scott may see this as a political maneuver, but for those who are about to lose their health care, the consequences are very real. Politicians have no business telling women who they can and cannot turn to for care.

The Florida bill is one of the most expansive pieces of state legislation to pass to date. If enacted, it would prevent low-income patients from turning to Planned Parenthood for health care and implement far-reaching restrictions on health centers that provide abortion, with the intent to prevent providers from continuing to serve their patients. Planned Parenthood is an integral health care provider in Florida, a state that is already tied for lastwhen it comes to women’s health care.

  • In Florida, Planned Parenthood serves more than 67,000 patients in Florida each year.

  • This bill would specifically bar more than 5,500 Title X patients, and nearly 2,000 Medicaid patients from receiving care at Planned Parenthood.

  • In both Palm Beach County and Collier County, Planned Parenthood affiliates servenearly half (45%) of women in need of affordable contraception at publicly funded family planning health centers.

The ad highlights Planned Parenthood patients, giving voice to the common knowledge of millions of Americans: blocking care at Planned Parenthood has very real and devastating consequences for the communities served. After Indiana “defunded” Planned Parenthood, Scott County faced an HIV epidemic. In Texas, a recent study in theNew England Journal of Medicine shows it led to a35% decline in women using the most effective methods of birth control and a dramatic 27% spike in births among women who had previously had access to injectable contraception. Local and national public health experts have spoken out time and again about the dangerous consequences of blocking care at Planned Parenthood.

 

Script of ad: Katie's Story

Katie:

“Life is very busy – I’m working two different jobs at the moment.

I trust Planned Parenthood because Planned Parenthood trusts me. They trust me to make decisions about my own body.

All types of people go to Planned Parenthood. I mean, there’s thousands of people who use Planned Parenthood as their main health care provider.

Our State House and Senate has voted to defund Planned Parenthood. Rick Scott approving this bill will mean that I won’t have access to safe health care in general – and thousands of others won’t either.”