Bill to “defund” Planned Parenthood threatens preventive health care for thousands;
Texas-style restriction on abortion could shutter health centers across Florida
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Florida Legislature passed an omnibus bill that threatens to block access to reproductive health care for thousands of Floridians. The bill contains Texas-style restrictions on safe, legal abortion that could close down health centers throughout the state. This bill comes just days after the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral argument on similar, medically unnecessary provisions in a Texas law that shuttered health centers across the state, and after the Court issued an order to temporarily block a law with similar provisions from going into effect in Louisiana. The politicians behind this bill claim the restrictions are intended to improve women’s health, but the reality is that they will do just the opposite. In fact, a New York Times analysis published on Sunday shows that Google searches for how to self-induce an abortion have skyrocketed in recent years in states that have restricted access to safe, legal abortion. This follows a study from the Texas Policy Evaluation Project (TxPEP) last November that revealed at least 100,000 Texas women may have attempted to end a pregnancy on their own, without medical assistance.
The bill would also block access to birth control, cancer screenings, STD tests and other care for the more than 5,500 Title X patients and nearly 2,000 Medicaid patients served by Planned Parenthood in Florida. In February, the New England Journal of Medicine published groundbreaking research that showed the devastating consequences for women after politicians blocked access to care at Planned Parenthood health centers in Texas: It led to a 35% 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.
Governor Rick Scott will have 15 days to sign or veto the bill upon receiving.
Statement from Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America
“Florida would, in one bill, do the damage it took Texas years to inflict on women. This bill would strip many women of their access to basic health care, such as cancer screenings, birth control, and abortion. As a health care provider, Planned Parenthood knows how laws like this leave women devastated. Women in Texas have been forced to drive hundreds of miles to access abortion, or self-induce abortion without medical supervision. Now Florida is poised to follow Texas’ shameless example. At Planned Parenthood, our doors are open. We are here for our patients and will fight this with everything we’ve got.”
Statement from Laura Goodhue, Executive Director of Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates
“This reckless legislation would leave thousands without access to birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing and treatment. And it could shutter access to safe, legal abortion across Florida. Governor Scott must veto this bill to protect access to reproductive health care, including safe, legal abortion, for all Floridians.”
Planned Parenthood is the nation's leading provider and advocate of high-quality, affordable health care for women, men, and young people, as well as the nation's largest provider of sex education. With approximately 700 health centers across the country, Planned Parenthood organizations serve all patients with care and compassion, with respect and without judgment. Through health centers, programs in schools and communities, and online resources, Planned Parenthood is a trusted source of reliable health information that allows people to make informed health decisions. We do all this because we care passionately about helping people lead healthier lives.
March 09, 2016