Florida congresswoman Lois Frankel proposes federal abortion access law

By

comment
IMAGE VIA FLORIDA NEWS CONNECTION
  • image via Florida News Connection

Lawmakers in Congress have reintroduced a bill they say would ensure access to safe abortions across the country, just as abortion rights are being challenged with a strict Mississippi law that will be reviewed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2022.

The Women's Health Protection Act would allow for abortions in every state to happen without restrictions that aren't medically necessary. U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel, D-Florida, who co-introduced the bill, said unnecessary restrictions include waiting periods or having to travel a far distance to get care due to clinic shutdowns.

"These restrictions are designed to control and criminalize women and/or their [healthcare] providers," Frankel said. "They steal from women the ability to make the important, life-changing decision of if and when to start a family. And it is a violation of their rights and their basic humanity."



In a survey released in January, 68% of respondents said they believe the constitutional right to abortion should be protected. And an Institute for Women's Policy Research study noted there would be more Florida women in the workforce if restrictions were lifted. As of Tuesday, no GOP legislators are co-sponsors of the bill.

From 2007 to 2016, pregnancy-related deaths were two to three times more prevalent among Black women in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Danielle Hurd-Wilson, interim deputy director of field and programs for the group Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity, asserted that access to reproductive care also is an issue of racial and economic justice.

"Young people — and Black, Indigenous people of color — should be able to get abortion care free from unnecessary restrictions, such as mandatory ultrasounds, waiting periods and others that shame, stigmatize and deny us timely, confidential abortion care," said Hurd-Wilson.

In the last decade, almost 500 state laws restricting abortion have passed in legislatures around the country.



Stay on top of Central Florida news and views with our weekly newsletters, and consider supporting this free publication. Our small but mighty team is working tirelessly to bring you Central Florida news, and every little bit helps.

Tags

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.