TALLAHASSEE, FL — Today, the Florida Senate is considering HB 5, which would ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The legislation makes no exception for rape or incest. OB/GYNs based in Florida who are members of the Committee to Protect Health Care have released the following concerns about the legislation. You can view video recordings of the statements as well.
“Every Floridian should be able to make their own decisions about their bodies and their health, including whether to get an abortion, with the consultation of their doctors and their loved ones,” said Dr. Cecilia Grande, MD, FACOG, NCMP, a Miami OBGYN (video of her speaking about the bill here). “This proposed ban at 15 weeks, for which there is no medical or scientific justification, harms all Floridians, but will hit Black, Latinx, and other Floridians of color, as well as those with low incomes, those in rural areas, immigrants, and young people especially hard. Abortion is essential health care, and time-sensitve health care, and shouldn’t be delayed or restricted.”
This legislation comes as the U.S. Supreme Court is deciding whether to uphold a similar 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi. For the past 50 years, the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v Wade has protected people’s constitutional right to an abortion to the point of fetal viability, around 24 weeks.
“Physicians are calling on our lawmakers to ensure that abortion is not just legal, but also accessible, and affordable in Florida,” said Dr. Katherine Sutherland, a retired OBGYN in Winter Haven (video of her speaking here). “Restrictions like this one will force Floridians to pay to travel hundreds of miles to cross state lines, or force them to carry unwanted pregnancies to term against their will. You don’t have to be a doctor to see that this bill is cruel and inhumane.”