Rep. Eskamani vows to fight abortion law

Anna Eskamani of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida

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After the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a Texas abortion law banning termination of pregnancy after 6 weeks – the nation’s most restrictive abortion law – Florida state lawmakers have vowed to pass a similar abortion law in the upcoming legislative session. 

But advocates of a woman’s right to choose have vowed to fight such a move by the Republican-led legislature. 

“We’re going to fight like hell to stop it,” State Rep. Anna Eskamani, a Democrat from the Orlando area, said during a discussion about the abortion law on WMNF’s MidPoint show Sept. 8. “Floridians don’t support these types of intrusive bans. … Whether it’s polling, or the actions of voters, the right to privacy, to a safe, legal abortion is something that the people of Florida overwhelmingly agree with.” 

Eskamani noted that Florida Republican lawmakers have introduced six-week abortion ban bills in the past. 

“Anti-abortion extremism is alive and well in the legislature,” she said. 

Complicating the issue this year is that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is seeking re-election in 2022 with his eye on running for president in 2024. 

“For his political base, and I mean his political base nationally because he really does not put as much attention on Floridians compared to a national audience, signing something like a Texas abortion ban into law would be good for him politically. And him and (Texas) Gov. Abbott are competing with one another for the presidency. It’s a race to the bottom, but they are both seeking it. They’re going to be trying to out- extreme each other. So part of the tension here and the stress for us is we’re not dealing with folks who care about policy. We’re dealing with folks who just want to win elections, and in a Republican primary this is the red meat they’re looking for.”  

Marches against the law are planned nationwide for Oct. 2. 

“It will be an opportunity for folks to bring their voices to the street and fight back,” said Amy Weintraub, Reproductive Rights Program Director for Progress Florida. 

Stephanie Frain, the President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Central and Southwest Florida, pointed out that Florida’s state constitution offers a right to privacy that protects against some abortion laws. 

“Our constitution here in Florida has protected everyone’s freedom with the way they have enshrined the right to privacy as part of our constitutional rights here in Florida. The concern right now is that our Florida Supreme Court which has dramatically changed after the 2020 elections when Gov. DeSantis appointed three very conservative judges who don’t see the right to privacy the same way. … We have grave concern that our new Florida Supreme Court will actually carve out women’s health care from having the same right to privacy as we do in all all of our other civil rights here in Florida.” 

You can listen to the entire show here, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts