For Immediate Release: Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Anti-choice lawmakers in Florida are the first to introduce legislation using Texas’ abortion ban as a blueprint
Washington, DC — Today, anti-choice lawmakers in Florida introduced a bill (HB 167) modeled after Texas’ SB 8, the vigilante-enforced ban on abortion before many people know they are pregnant. Florida is one of 11 states where lawmakers have announced intentions or plans to copy Texas’ abortion ban.
NARAL Pro-Choice America Acting President Adrienne Kimmell released the following statement:
“We are horrified to see anti-choice politicians in Florida following in Texas’ footsteps, and there’s no question that lawmakers hostile to reproductive freedom in other states will do the same. The harm of these draconian attacks cannot be overstated and they most acutely impact those who already face the greatest barriers to accessing care.
Even as Roe stands, the evisceration of abortion access is well underway and Florida is just the latest example of the anti-choice movement’s effort to end safe, legal abortion in its entirety through vigilantism. The need for legislative action to safeguard the legal right to abortion is becoming more urgent with every passing day. Congress must immediately pass the Women’s Health Protect Act so President Biden can sign it into law and protect the right to abortion care.”
The Women’s Health Protection Act (WHPA) protects the federal right to abortion should Roe v. Wade fall, creating a right for healthcare providers to provide abortion care and a corresponding right for people to receive that care, free from bans and medically unnecessary restrictions that single out abortion and block access to care.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Supreme Court refused to block Texas’ blatantly unconstitutional SB 8, a law banning abortion at approximately six weeks, before many people even know they are pregnant. This law also grants almost any person the power to sue someone for “aiding and abetting” a pregnant person seeking abortion care and being awarded $10,000 or more for their vigilantism.
Texas’ SB 8 is part of a broader onslaught of attacks on abortion access in Texas and across the country. This draconian ban on abortion joins over 90 other restrictions on abortion access that have been enacted at the state level in 2021, making it the worst year for abortion rights since Roe was decided.
This bill in Florida, SB 8 in Texas, and the hundreds of other attacks on abortion introduced this year underscore the urgent need for Congress to pass WHPA and protect the right to abortion throughout the United States. Every day without action means that more and more people are being denied their constitutional right to abortion—and this disproportionately affects women; Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color; members of the LGBTQ+ community; and those with lower incomes.
For over 50 years, NARAL Pro-Choice America has fought to protect and advance reproductive freedom at the federal and state levels—including access to abortion care, birth control, paid family leave, and protections from pregnancy discrimination—for every body. NARAL is powered by its more than 2.5 million members from every state and congressional district in the country, representing the 8 in 10 Americans who support safe, legal abortion.