The constant and chronic assault on women’s Reproductive Rights continues. The US House plans to vote next week on a bill that would ban abortion after 20 weeks.
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) announced Tuesday that the House would vote on the “Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act,” on Oct. 3.
The U.S. Supreme Court has consistently held for over 40 years that states may not ban abortion prior to viability. The Court has also made clear that states are prohibited from drawing a line at a particular gestational age to establish fetal viability. And, the Court has insisted that the determination of viability must be left to the physician’s judgment. In addition, the narrow health exceptions contained in 20-week bans are unconstitutional at any stage of pregnancy, even after viability, because they do not adequately allow physicians to exercise their medical judgment to protect.
Please contact your representative and ask him/her to vote NO on this bill.
Proposed Florida Senate bill would protect family planning and reproductive rights
Senator Gary Farmer (D – Fort Lauderdale) plans to introduce the Family Planning and Reproductive Rights Act in the next Florida legislative session. Read the text of his bill below:
AN ACT to safeguard a woman’s unfettered access to family planning, reproductive health care and abortion services, as provided by the guarantees of personal freedom and individual liberty set
forth in the United States Constitution, the Florida Constitution and settled law.
Section 1. Legislative intent. The legislature finds that comprehensive reproductive health care, including contraception and abortion, is a fundamental component of a woman’s health, privacy andequality. The Florida Constitution and United States Constitution protect a woman’s fundamental right to access safe, legal abortion, courts have repeatedly reaffirmed this right and further emphasized that states may not place undue burdens on women seeking to access such right.
Moreover, the legislature finds, as with other medical procedures, the safety of abortion is furthered by evidence-based practices developed and supported by medical professionals; any regulation of medical care must have a legitimate purpose. Abortion is one of the safest medical procedures performed in the United States; the goal of medical regulation should be to improve the quality and availability of health care services, not restrict them.
Furthermore, the legislature declares that it is the public policy of Florida that every individual possesses a fundamental right of privacy and equality with respect to their personal reproductive decisions and should be able to safely effectuate those decisions, including by seeking and obtaining abortion care, free from discrimination in the provision of health care. Restricting access to reproductive rights is an attack on women’s personal freedom, individual liberty, right to self determination and equality. A woman can never be equal if denied the basic right to make decisions for
herself and her family.
The Florida Supreme Court has consistently ruled to protect a woman’s right of privacy as guaranteed in the Florida Constitution, including in the February 16, 2017, decision on GAINESVILLE WOMAN CARE, LLC, et al., Petitioners, vs. STATE OF FLORIDA, et al., Respondents, which states “In Florida, any law that implicates the fundamental right of privacy, regardless of the activity, is subject to strict scrutiny and, therefore, presumptively unconstitutional… Florida’s constitutional right of privacy contained in article I, section 23, establishes the right of every person to ‘be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into [one’s] private life.’ Art. I, § 23, Fla. Const. Because the right of privacy is a fundamental right within Florida’s constitution, this Court consistently has required that any law intruding on this right is presumptively unconstitutional and must be justified by a ‘compelling state interest’ which the law serves or protects through the ‘least restrictive means.’ Winfield v. Div. of Pari-Mutuel Wagering, Dep’t of Bus. Regulation, 477 So. 2d 544, 547 (Fla. 1985); see also N. Fla. Women’s Health & Counseling Servs., Inc. v. Florida, 866 So. 2d 612, 632 (Fla. 2003); In re T.W., 551 So. 2d 1186, 1191-92 (Fla. 1989).
In addition, there is nothing more fiscally responsible than the proven cost-savings of preventative health policies and initiatives. Preventative reproductive health policies are both socially responsible and provide direct cost-savings for both taxpayers and the government.
Therefore, it is the intent of this legislature to prevent the enforcement of laws or regulations that are not in furtherance of a legitimate state interest in protecting a woman’s health, that burden abortion access, limit personal freedom and Constitutional rights and defy settled law.