Reproductive Rights News Roundup – 3/8/2019

Women spotlight economic disparity, health care on International Women’s Day
By Mitch Perry
Florida Phoenix
The symbolism was impossible to ignore for the activists and Democratic state lawmakers who kicked off a celebration of International Women’s Day at the Capitol on Thursday.

Florida’s Legislative Session Begins With A Division In Ideas
By Matthew Arrojas, Cat Gloria and Gabriella Paul
WUFT Gainesville
Excerpt: Among the Democratic lawmakers who gathered in rebuttal afterward, Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, said DeSantis is more receptive than Scott, but certain rhetoric in his address on immigration and abortion access needed to be challenged. A coalition of progressive organizations including Planned Parenthood, alongside Democratic legislators from both the House and the Senate spearheaded the Sunrise Agenda, which outlines ideas from the expansion of Medicaid to pro-LGBTQ non-discrimination mandates in the workplace. “It’s a response to his agenda and an effort to paint a picture for a different alternative where Floridians can be inspired to join us,” Eskamani said.

Partisan divide: Democrats and Republicans lay out two visions for Florida at 2019 Legislature kickoff
By Julie Hauserman and Mitch Perry
The Florida Phoenix
Excerpt: Just after taking office last month, DeSantis packed the Florida Supreme Court with conservative-leaning justices, setting off alarms that the new jurists would be more likely to let anti-abortion legislation stand. In the past, the state Supreme Court has struck down abortion restrictions, citing the state Constitution’s privacy clause.

Fetal Heartbeat Bill Would Ban Abortions After Six Weeks, Charge Clinicians who Performed Them with Third Degree Felonies
By Danielle Prieur
WMFE Orlando
As the legislative session gets underway this week, one piece of legislation before lawmakers is a fetal heartbeat bill.

GOP state lawmakers approve ‘heartbeat’ abortion bans
By Ben Nadler, Kimberlee Kruesi and Sanya Mansoor
Associated Press
Georgia and Tennessee joined a string of states moving to enact tough abortion restrictions when Republican House lawmakers passed bans on most abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

Abortion Parental Consent Law For Minors Proposed In Florida Senate
Staff Report
News Service of Florida
Nearly 30 years after the Florida Supreme Court struck down a similar law, a Senate Republican has proposed a measure that would require minors to receive the consent of their parents or guardians before having abortions.

Week in politics: Damage control before day one of 2019 legislative session
By Dara Kam
News Service of Florida
Excerpt: But the speaker’s concession wasn’t enough for abortion-rights supporters. “Access to a popularly supported and constitutionally guaranteed form of health care is hardly our society’s greatest challenge; perhaps climate change or gun violence, but to characterize access to abortion as our greatest challenge is yet another reason why people don’t want politicians interfering in the first place,” Amy Weintraub, reproductive rights program director for Progress Florida, said.

José Oliva apologizes after ‘host body’ quip sparks national outrage
By Jacob Ogles
Florida Politics
House Speaker José Oliva turned heads nationwide when called pregnant women “body hosts.” The Miami Republican issued a public apology after his language was universally panned.

Jose Oliva, State’s Second Most Powerful Politician, Starts Session Embroiled in Abortion Controversy
By Chuck Strouse
Broward Palm Beach New Times
Jose Oliva is the first Florida House of Representatives speaker from Miami since Marco Rubio.

From guns to abortion, Florida Legislature to tackle controversial issues
By Skyler Swisher
South Florida Sun Sentinel
Abortion: The appointment of conservative justices to the state and federal Supreme Court could lead to new restrictions on abortion.

The Challenges of Innovating Access to Abortion
By Sue Halpern
The New Yorker
A year ago, when Kanuʻuhiwa Thomas, a twenty-four-year-old who lives in Hawaii, found out that she was pregnant, she decided to terminate the pregnancy.

What Crisis Pregnancy Centers Stand to Gain From Trump’s New Title X ‘Gag Rule’
By Rosemary Westwood
Pacific Standard
The Trump administration recently finalized new rules that could strip federal funding from Planned Parenthood clinics and others that refer women for abortions.

American Medical Association, Planned Parenthood Sue Over Trump’s ‘Gag Rule’ on Family Planning Clinics
By David Crary
Associated Press
The American Medical Association and Planned Parenthood filed a federal court lawsuit Tuesday challenging a new Trump administration rule changing criteria for family-planning grant money in ways sought by anti-abortion activists.

Abortions rise worldwide when US cuts funding to women’s health clinics, study finds
By Yana Rodgers
The Conversation
Fulfilling Republican efforts to “defund Planned Parenthood,” the Trump administration announced on Feb. 22 it would end federal funding to health providers that perform abortions.

Young People Who Want Abortions Need More Than Roe v. Wade
By HK Gray
Teen Vogue
Every year, we celebrate the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade ruling: the decision that secured the right to abortion in the United States.

Activists shifting abortion debate to focus on human rights
By Beverly Banks
USA Today
With the future of abortion rights on the verge of changing like no time since before Roe v. Wade, advocates are presenting new arguments to plead their cases.

Birth control pills recalled over risk: You might think you’ve taken one when you haven’t
By David J. Neal
Miami Herald
A Weston, Florida, company recalled four lots of birth control pills after a packing glitch produced blister packs of too many pills, too many placebos or an empty pill space.

Deadly deliveries: Some Florida hospitals face high rates of maternal complications
By Frank Gluck and Liz Freeman
Fort Myers News-Press
Nadege Dumont was a month away from her baby’s due date when she showed up at a Broward Health hospital ER with high blood pressure and swollen limbs following recent, rapid weight gain.

How Florida’s Remade – and Conservative – Supreme Court Will Affect State Law
By Zach Schlein
Daily Business Review
Excerpt: “The political makeup of this legislature and new governor are such that it’s likely one or more of these attempts to restrict abortion in Florida will pass, and if it does happen I think it’ll be challenged in court,” Filer said. “This may be the policy area where we will most likely be able to compare and contrast the makeup of this new Florida Supreme Court with what it’s been in recent years.”

Letters to the Editor

Terrible choice
By Lisa Freund, Naples
Naples Daily News
I’m writing this letter to correct a terrible injustice being perpetuated by this newspaper by printing letters to the editor containing lies about recent reproductive rights legislation. These letters have at their base President Trump’s statements at the State of the Union and his tweets regarding the defeat of an anti-choice U.S. Senate bill.

Abortion and Russ Sloan
By Barry McAlister, Leesburg
Leesburg Daily Commercial
Excerpt: Maybe Mr. Sloan doesn’t trust medical professionals to make informed, professional decisions for which they have been extensively trained and licensed, in consultation with the women in their care. Do we honestly believe that doctors and other medical care providers will risk their license and professional lives to perform medically unnecessary procedures because pregnant women wake up one day at six months or seven months pregnant and decide that they don’t want to be pregnant anymore? Do we show the same mistrust of any other medical professionals who perform other medical procedures?