International Women’s Day falls on March 8. One day later, on March 9, 2016, the state legislature of Florida approved sweeping restrictions on women’s access to abortion providers, contraceptives, and STI treatment, reports Amanda Marcotte of Salon. The bill, HB 1411, is similar to a Texas law currently in review by the Supreme Court. That did not dissuade the Florida Senate, or the House, from passing the bill and sending it to Governor Rick Scott’s desk.
Republicans who support the bill claim that doctors performing surgical procedures, such as liposuction, are under stronger scrutiny and stricter regulations than abortion providers. However, as Marcotte points out, many abortions do not occur in clinics at all. A patient wishing to end a pregnancy is given pills and goes home. By contrast, liposuction is invasive and considered thirty times more dangerous than abortion, yet does not require hospital admittance.
There is very little reason to believe that Gov. Scott will not sign this bill, and Florida is no stranger to anti-choice politics. In the summer of 2015, the state of Florida launched an investigation into Planned Parenthood. According to Marcotte, “when investigators in the state found no evidence for accusations that Planned Parenthood was mishandling fetal remains, Gov. Rick Scott’s office literally rewrote the press release to conceal the findings clearing the organization.” A woman’s right to choose just became more difficult to realize in Florida this week. Happy International Women’s Day, indeed.
Amanda Marcotte, “Florida’s war on women: State passes massive anti-choice bill to shut down access to abortion and contraception,” Salon, March 9, 2016, http://www.salon.com/2016/03/09/floridas_war_on_women_state_passes_massive_anti_choice_bill_to_shut_down_access_to_abortion_and_contraception/.
Student Researcher: Caitlin McCoy (College of Marin)
Faculty Evaluator: Susan Rahman (College of Marin)