FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 8, 2023
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Floridians Protecting Freedom Launch Campaign to Ensure Constitutional Right to Abortion
TALLAHASSEE – Today, Floridians Protecting Freedom launched a citizen-led ballot initiative campaign to give Florida voters the chance to ensure that their personal medical decisions are theirs and theirs alone to make. The decision of whether or not to have an abortion belongs to Floridians, their families, and those they trust — this campaign is an opportunity to further enshrine those protections in our state constitution.
Floridians want the freedom to make their own personal health care decisions without interference from politicians, but Florida politicians just passed a ban on access to care before many people even realize they’re pregnant.
Florida’s recently passed six-week abortion ban goes against the will of Floridians across the political spectrum. For more than a decade, the people of Florida have made it clear in polling, and with their votes, that they don’t want the government intruding on their personal medical decisions. The “Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion” will transfer power from politicians back into the hands of Floridians.
“We are putting abortion on the ballot, and we are giving the voice back to the people of Florida that for so long has been silenced,” said Sarah Parker, President of Women’s Voices of Southwest Florida. “We’re asking Floridians to join us because it is time for the people of Florida, from all classes, from all political affiliations, and from all faiths, to stand in solidarity— and fight back. It’s time to reclaim our voices and bring real freedom to the state of Florida.”
“As a provider of abortion care in this state, I’ve witnessed firsthand the devastating impact on patients and their families from the 15-week abortion ban passed last year,” said Dr. Shelly Tien. “These abortion bans represent a public health threat to every Floridian – not just pregnant individuals but also their families and loved ones. Restricting abortion access inevitably results in forced pregnancies, pregnancy and health complications, forced childbirth, and for some, forced parenting, as some families may not feel that making an adoption plan is an option for them.”
“When considering this issue from a biblical perspective, there are many instances where Jesus clearly affirms the moral agency of women,” said Rev. Dr. Joe Parramore. “This means that even Jesus trusted women to make their own decisions. The fact is every situation is unique and there are many reasons why someone may make the deeply personal decision to have an abortion. Unless you’re walking in their shoes, no one, including politicians, should be allowed to interfere in this personal decision or prevent doctors and nurses from treating their patients.”
“Over the last two years, we’ve experienced unprecedented attacks on our reproductive freedoms,” said Stephanie Fraim, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida. “This ballot initiative is a crucial step in returning power to the people of Florida and guaranteeing that we have the right to control our own medical decisions and our own futures. The 15-week abortion ban already caused immeasurable harm, and every day we see the devastating consequences of these shameful laws. Despite that, our extremist Legislature has doubled down on their cruelty with the recent six-week ban. We know how unpopular these new laws are, and the voters are going to make our voices heard through this ballot initiative. Families in Florida are ready to say ‘enough.’”
“Floridians deserve the freedom to control their lives, their bodies, their health care, and their futures,” said Kara Gross, legislative director at the ACLU of Florida. “The decision about whether and when to continue a pregnancy is one of the most, if not the most, important decisions we make. We should be free to make this decision in consultation with our medical providers and those we love and trust, without political interference. The majority of Floridians support access to safe and legal abortion care. Every Floridian should be able to make their own personal, private health care decisions without politicians standing in the way, and that’s why we’ve launched this campaign.”
“Make no mistake: we will not be ignored any longer. Access to reproductive care in Florida is at great risk, and we must take a stand by taking our values to the ballot box,” said Moné Holder of Florida Rising. “Today marks the beginning of the path to protect the will of Floridians, our bodily autonomy, and our freedoms.”
“When I was 23 weeks pregnant, I learned my baby had Potter Syndrome and would not live long after being born,” said Deborah Dorbert. “Even though my husband and I decided that the best decision for our family would be to induce labor, Florida’s abortion ban took that decision away from us and our doctors. I had no choice but to carry my pregnancy for months until I could be induced and give birth to Milo, who died in my arms within hours. After going through what I went through, I wish no mom or any family will have to go through the same. I am sharing my story because stories like mine are what will bring change to Florida. There are so many people affected by abortion bans. Their stories help people know they aren’t alone in having an abortion or losing a pregnancy, and they make clear why politicians should not be in our health care. Our reproductive health decisions should be ours alone. Floridians need the freedom to make decisions about their bodies and future, to access abortion in their communities, to raise their families in a state where their autonomy is protected.”
Year after year Florida lawmakers have implemented increasingly drastic restrictions on abortion access — even though Floridians don’t support them. Passage of this constitutional amendment will establish an explicit right to abortion and ensure that Floridians’ reproductive freedom is codified into law and no longer subject to the whims of extremist politicians and judges.
Floridians Protecting Freedom (FPF) is a statewide coalition of organizations and concerned citizens working together to protect Floridians’ access to reproductive health care and defend the right to bodily autonomy. FPF recognizes that all Floridians deserve the freedom to make personal medical decisions, free of government intrusion. Their citizen-led ballot initiative, the “Amendment to Limit Government Interference with Abortion,” seeks to further codify that right into Florida law by creating a constitutional amendment that explicitly blocks the implementation of laws that prohibit, delay, or restrict abortion access.