2010 Legislative Session
During the 2010 Legislative Session, Planned Parenthood worked to pass two important pieces of legislation designed to improve access to health care and education in Florida: the Healthy Teens Act, and the Prevention First Act. Unfortunately, the Legislature's anti-choice climate meant neither bill was heard in committee, let alone on the floor of the House or Senate.
The Healthy Teens Act
The Healthy Teens Act was filed in the Senate by Senator Deutch as SB 1502, and in the House as HB 169 by Representative Fitzgerald. The Act was designed to protect Florida’s teens by requiring that public schools receiving state funding provide comprehensive, medically-accurate, and age-appropriate factual information when teaching about sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, family planning, or pregnancy.
Parents and teachers agree that youth need comprehensive sex education that is age-appropriate, including the facts that help protect them from diseases that threaten their health.
- 73% of Floridians believe public schools should teach a comprehensive sex education program.
- 90% of Florida teachers feel sex education should be taught in schools.
- Florida has the 2nd highest AIDS case rate in the country, with 4,960 new AIDS cases in 2005 and 100,809 cases overall.
- Florida has the 6th highest syphilis rate of any state, with 724 reported cases in 2005.
- Florida has the 6th highest teen pregnancy rate and each year 48,440 teens get pregnant.
For more information, please visit the Healthy Teens Campaign.
The Prevention First Act
The Prevention First Act was filed in the Senate as SB 652 by Senator Rich, and in the House as HB 517 by Representative Gibson. The goal of the Prevention First Act was to significantly reduce the need for abortion by helping women and families prevent unintended pregnancies by requiring health care practitioners and facilities to provide compassionate care to rape survivors, including information and access to emergency contraception, requiring pharmacies to ensure that lawful prescription and over-the-counter contraceptives are dispensed to patients in-store without discrimination or delay, and codifying the right to access birth control by stating that contraception is not abortion and shall not be treated as such in the law.
- Ninety-eight percent of sexually active women in the U.S. use contraceptives at some point during their lifetimes.
- Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of American voters including 73 percent of Catholic voters believe that a pharmacist should NOT be allowed to refuse to fill a prescription based on moral or religious objection.