Activists decry Florida’s proposed 15-week abortion ban

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Sign at rally for abortion rights. By Arielle Stevenson/WMNF. 12/01/21

Wednesday in Tallahassee, Floridians for Reproductive Freedom held a press conference calling for access to reproductive healthcare. Activists and elected officials gathered in Florida’s capitol to voice opposition to extreme abortion bills proposed in the state legislature.

Bills ban abortion past 15 weeks

As Florida’s legislative session entered its second day, Republican lawmakers in the house and senate filed legislation that would ban abortions after 15 weeks (SB 146, HB 5), without exceptions for rape or incest.

Democratic Florida Representative Michele Rayner says access to safe abortion is an issue that impacts all Floridians.

“Abortion is not only healthcare, abortion is also a justice issue,” Rayner said. “It’s also an equity issue. It’s also an economic issue. Abortion touches the lives of every person in this country and in this state.”

The proposed legislation mirrors the abortion restriction passed in Mississippi, and violates the Supreme Court’s precedent in the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.

State Democrats voice opposition

Orlando Democratic Representative Anna Eskamani says these bills are unjust.  

“This group of people you see here, we are the defense,” Eskamani said. “We are the wall to stop this oppressive and dangerous legislation, being proposed yesterday the first day of session from becoming law. When I tell you we are ready, we are ready.”

During Gov. Ron DeSantis’ state of the state speech earlier this week, he alluded to the “opportunity to strengthen protections for the right to life.” He also said that he believes the 15-week limit “makes a lot of sense.”

The bills will be heard during the 60-day session.

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