Reproductive Rights News Roundup

State Sen. Dennis Baxley files ‘heartbeat’ bill
By Joe Callahan
Ocala Star-Banner
Excerpt: Amy Weintraub, the Reproductive Rights Program director for Progress Florida, said the two bills are clearly “attention-getting moves” and will not gain any traction. Weintraub said fetal heartbeats are normally detected about six weeks into a pregnancy. She said women do not find out they are pregnant until after six weeks. “It is so blatantly unconstitutional that it will never be upheld by the Florida Supreme Court,” said Weintraub, adding that lawmakers should be focused on other women’s health issues. She said both bills are a blatant attempt to end access to abortion care in Florida.

Pair Of Fetal Heartbeat Bills Set For Upcoming Legislative Session
By Kevin Del Orbe
WFSU Tallahassee
Under a pair of bills going before the Florida legislature this session, women could be charged with a third degree felony if they get an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected.

Abortion is back before the Legislature, with new courts
By Bill Cotterell
Tallahassee Democrat
Republicans are getting ready for a renewed fight over abortion – politically, legislatively and legally – and Florida figures to be in the thick of it after the 2019 session.

Florida lawmakers should ignore backward-thinking ‘fetal heartbeat bills’
Palm Beach Post
After years attempting to roll back abortion rights, it appears that Florida’s Republican lawmakers are sensing a big win.

High court takes abortion vote, but key tests still to come
By David Crary
Associated Press
Activists on both sides of the abortion debate are reacting cautiously to a 5-4 Supreme Court vote blocking Louisiana from enforcing new abortion regulations.

Anti-Abortion Activists Still See Their Best Chance in Years to Chip Away at Roe v. Wade
By Elizabeth Dias and Timothy Williams
New York Times
Despite a temporary setback at the Supreme Court on Thursday night, the anti-abortion movement nationwide is pursuing its best chance in years to aggressively curb abortion access, and with a bench it believes remains in its favor.

These Abortion Laws Could Reach The Supreme Court
By Ari Shapiro
NPR’s Ari Shapiro talks with Mary Ziegler, law professor at Florida State University, and author of Beyond Abortion: Roe v. Wade and the Fight for Privacy, about abortion laws that could reach the Supreme Court.

Legislative Lowlights: Lawmakers in Ten States Have Introduced ‘Heartbeat’ Bans This Year
By Brie Shea
Arkansas and Tennessee lawmakers are planning for the fall of Roe v. Wade, Republicans in multiple states are still obsessed with bathrooms, and legislators in at least ten states have introduced measures this year to ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat has been detected.

Rick Scott Goes to Bat for Ben Sasse’s Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act
By Kevin Derby
Florida Daily
Having been in the U.S. Senate a month now, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., threw his support behind prolife legislation that is being blocked by congressional Democrats.

Here’s What I Want Donald Trump And Everyone Else To Know About My ‘Late-Term Abortion’

By Jennifer Gorman
Huffington Post
I spent the first half of 2015 pregnant and then I had a “late-term abortion.”

Where are the women? Not so much in male-dominated Tallahassee
By Christine Stapleton
Leesburg Daily Commercial
The victories claimed by the women’s movement across the United States in 2018, including the #MeToo movement bringing down dozens of powerful men, E! News called out for pay inequality, public comeuppances for serial sex offenders like Bill Cosby and a record number of women elected to Congress, seem to have barely reached Florida.

Pro-life, pro-choice clash at FGCU
By Raphaella Matta
Eagle News
FGCU students spoke out against the Canadian Center for Bioethical Reform’s display of pro-life propaganda on Monday, February 11th.

Bills would offer Medicaid funds for breast milk for premature infants
By Ryan Nicol
Florida Politics
A pair of Democrats have introduced companion legislation to make Medicaid funds available to reimburse families who require donor breast milk for premature infants.

‘Advanced’ birth centers expand out-of-hospital delivery options for pregnant women
By Christine Sexton
News Service of Florida
With a key senator saying hospitals can be “Petri dishes” for infections, lawmakers are considering a pair of bills that would increase the number of options for pregnant women who are seeking out-of-hospital deliveries.

Paid Parental Leave: The one issue that Trump, rivals can agree on
By Christine Stapleton
Palm Beach Post
During his State of the Union speech, President Donald Trump devoted a single sentence to what is likely the only issue in America that can unite his devoted base and ardent foes: paid parental leave.

Medicaid HIV and AIDS care spurs protest
By Christine Sexton
News Service of Florida
As a battle between the AIDS Healthcare Foundation and state Medicaid officials plays out in court in Tallahassee, people with HIV and AIDS are taking it to the Southeast Florida streets.

Report: Many Florida Men Having Unprotected Sex Despite Disclosing HIV Status
By Daylina Miller
Health News Florida
A new study suggests that many Florida men are still having unprotected sex despite telling their partners they’re HIV positive.