The attack starts on Tuesday

By Amy Weintraub - October 16, 2019

The anti-abortion movement is fired up: they’ve been racking up win after win in our neighboring states and now they have their sights set on our Florida. Extremist legislators in Florida have already introduced anti-abortion legislation and are getting their supporters to flood fellow lawmakers’ inboxes with pleas to outlaw abortion or make it harder to access.

One such proposal has been resurrected from last year and is already scheduled to be heard by the Florida Legislature’s House Health & Human Service (HHS) Committee when it convenes on Tuesday, October 22nd. For a bill to be considered by a committee before session is a clue that it may be fast-tracked for passage. We cannot let this happen!

This bill adds more stringent barriers for the more than 12,000 Florida adolescents who become pregnant each year. House Bill 265 could require that young people deemed too “immature” to have an abortion become parents instead.

The bill’s author, Representative Erin Grall (R-Vero Beach), wants to require a young person’s parent to prove their parentage and give consent before the young person could get an abortion. Current law already contains parental notification requirements.

We are asking you, one of our most dedicated supporters for social justice, to take 20 minutes to phone each House HHS Committee member listed below to voice opposition to this bill. Or, take a few minutes to call the member whose city is closest to you.

Say: “Youth already have enough government imposed barriers in accessing abortion care and that additional requirements will make them less safe. Oppose HB 265.

-- or --

“Please reject Representative Grall’s effort to push more restrictions on young women, jeopardizing their health. Vote no on HB 265.”

Let’s make our voices heard now as we work toward a world where everyone can access confidential and safe access to the full range of reproductive and sexual health services, including abortion.

For health and justice,

Amy and the Progress Florida team

House HHS Committee

Republicans are listed first and are the top priority for receiving calls. However, it’s important that Democrats hear from us too, so if you have the time, please phone them.

  • Chair Ray Rodrigues (R - Fort Myers): 239-433-6501 | 850-717-5076
  • Vice Chair Cary Pigman (R - Sebring): 863-386-6000 | 850-717-5055
  • Representative Colleen Burton (R - Lakeland): 863-413-2640 | 850-717-5040
  • Representative Nick DiCeglie (R - Largo): 727-588-7090 | 850-717-5066
  • Representative Michael Grant (R - Port Charlotte): 941-613-0914 | 850-717-5075
  • Representative Thomas “Tom” Leek (R - Daytona Beach): 386-238-4865 | 850-717-5025
  • Representative MaryLynn Magar (R - Hobe Sound): 772-545-3481 | 850-717-5082
  • Representative Scott Plakon (R - Longwood): 407-262-7423 | 850-717-5029
  • Representative Mel Ponder (R - Fort Walton Beach): 850-833-3713 | 850-717-5004
  • Representative Spencer Roach (R - N. Fort Myers): 239-656-7790 | 850-717-5079
  • Representative Cyndi Stevenson (R - St. Augustine): 904-823-2300 | 850-717-5017
  • Representative Clay Yarborough (R - Jacksonville): 904-723-5300 | 850-717-5012
  • Representative Nicholas X. Duran (D - Miami): 305-860-7119 | 850-717-5112
  • Representative Kamia L. Brown (D - Orlando): 407-297-2001 | 850-717-5045
  • Representative John Cortes (D - Kissimmee): 407-846-5009 | 850-717-5043
  • Representative Joy Goff-Marcil (D - Maitland): 407-623-1010 | 850-717-5030
  • Representative Shevrin D. "Shev" Jones (D - West Park): 954-893-5010 | 850-717-5101
  • Representative Emily Slosberg (D - Delray Beach): 561-496-5940 | 850-717-5091

More about teens, pregnancy and abortion:

Young people should be able to turn to their parents when faced with an unintended pregnancy, and in fact most do. But laws requiring a young person to further involve parents puts our teens’ health and safety at risk.

The small fraction of youth who do not voluntarily consult a parent often have good reason. Many come from families where such an announcement would only exacerbate an already volatile or dysfunctional family situation. They may not live with their parents due to family strife or incarceration. Some teens who don’t want to tell a parent about their abortion decision fear, if they did, they would be kicked out of the house. Others fear they would be physically abused because their parents had beaten them before. That’s why leading health and medical professionals oppose these laws.

The fact is, youth already are more likely than older women to have later abortions, and requiring a young person’s health care provider to acquire written permission will only cause further delays. (We saw that after Missouri enacted a forced parental consent law, the proportion of second-trimester abortions among minors increased by 17%.) While abortion is safer than childbirth, later abortions entail more medical risks and are more difficult to obtain because they are more expensive and fewer doctors perform them.