Coalition of Black-led Reproductive Health Groups Condemns Florida Anti-Abortion Lawmakers’ Proposed Six Week Ban

March 8, 2023


FLORIDAIn response to anti-choice lawmakers in the Florida Legislature filing a near total abortion ban on Tuesday, the Black in Repro coalition, a group of Black reproductive and birth justice advocates across Florida with shared values and vision–including Equity Experience, FANM Saj, Florida Access Network, Melanin Mothers Meet, Power U Center for Social Change, Southern Birth Justice Network and Black leaders from Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida – have issued the following statement:

Yesterday, the anti-abortion extremist lawmakers in Florida introduced a near-total abortion ban that, if allowed to become law, would effectively prohibit access to essential life-saving healthcare across the entire Southern region. This extreme ban would make abortion illegal at approximately six weeks of pregnancy, before most people even know they are pregnant. It would leave all Floridians with an almost impossible timeframe to access care, especially for Black and Brown Floridians who are already facing steep barriers to obtain an abortion. 

In Black communities in particular, there is a history of our reproductive lives being controlled by people who do not value our well-being. The targeting of Black bodies is not new in the American political landscape, especially the South. 

Even before this ban, people seeking abortion care faced significant obstacles. Florida already requires a medically unnecessary 24-hour delay and two separate appointments to obtain an abortion, placing undue burdens that especially impact low-wealth families. If this ban goes into effect, the government would be forcing more people to carry pregnancies against their will or even against the best advice of their healthcare providers. 

According to the American Journal of Public Health, states with the most abortion restrictions also have the worst maternal health outcomes, which we know disproportionately impact Black birthing people. Our communities, which already contend with entrenched biases and health inequities, stand to suffer the most under HB 7/SB 300. It only makes things worse in a state where systemic racism is killing Black people at disparate rates during and after pregnancy.

If this bill passes, we will continue to hear heartbreaking stories of young people who have been raped who cannot access abortion care in Florida, or people with very wanted pregnancies who receive gut wrenching medical complications which cannot be addressed because health care providers are restricted by medically inaccurate definitions in the law.

As Black in Repro, we boldly say NO to abortion bans and YES to access to comprehensive, full-spectrum, holistic care for all people in the state of Florida and beyond.