The Phoenix Flyer

‘Whatever it takes’: Abortion rights activists are preparing for battle

By: - January 13, 2022 4:10 pm

Some 8,000 protestors on both sides of the abortion issue paraded for legislators who convened a special session of the FL Legislature in 1989. Photo by Mark Foley. State Library & Archives of Florida.

The Florida National Organization for Women (NOW) on Thursday said they’ll be pushing a “forceful statewide campaign to protect reproductive health and rights,” with lawmakers, lobbyists and various organizations preparing for a fight over a proposed 15-week abortion ban.

And it’s only Day 3 in the Florida Legislature.

HB 5 and SB 146 are the bills that would prohibit a physician from performing an abortion after 15 weeks. The legislation was filed the first day of the 2022 legislative session.

Keep in mind, though, that the GOP controls both chambers of the Legislature, making a fight on the issue more difficult.

Still, several organizations have already set their paths on what they’re going to do to make sure women’s reproductive rights are protected.

On Wednesday several organizations attended and hosted a rally for reproductive freedom.

Florida NOW followed up with a statement on Thursday with a focus on, “Whatever it takes.”

That’s the approach that NOW is taking, and their lobbyist, Barbara DeVane, said that they are planning to do just that to stop the abortion ban. “We have this long list of priorities every session but this is a very important issue to Florida NOW.”

DeVane, who spoke to the Phoenix, added, “It is our job to educate, motivate, activate and sometimes agitate.” 

The NOW organization and other groups have already set things in motion, sending messages for legislators to vote “no” on the bills.

They also plan to be at every committee meeting in connection with the abortion ban legislation. Following committee votes, the bills would have to be approved in the full House and the Senate.

In a statement, Florida NOW President Debbie Deland said that  “several issues make this bill unconscionable.”

She added: “Any abortion ban in Florida would make reproductive health care significantly more difficult to access for thousands of Floridians. Like all abortion restrictions, the burdens imposed by abortion bans fall hardest on those who already face structural barriers to health care – especially Black, Indigenous and other people of color, young people, and undocumented people.”

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