Advocates call out secret agenda and hate speech
of key backer on committee, Sen. Dennis Baxley
Youth leaders, legislators and reproductive rights activists today rallied at The Capitol in opposition to Senate Bill 404, just before the bill was to be heard in committee. Protesters called out the secret agenda and hate speech of Sen. Dennis Baxley, a key backer of the bill who is on the committee.
A series of amendments were introduced to improve the bill if passed in order to ensure young people aren’t put in danger by its passage. Despite overwhelming public support all the amendments were voted down on a party line vote. Time expired before a vote could be taken on the bill.
Baxley, speaking at a Christian Family Coalition event in August, let slip that SB 404 is a Trojan horse designed to trigger a challenge to the privacy clause in Florida’s state constitution. This could result in a full scale attack on safe and legal abortion in Florida.
Baxley said, “we have some new court members, we need another look at what the privacy clause means and is for and I contend on the issue of parents taking responsibility of their children that parental consent is an easy argument for us.” He went on to say that we, “will address where we are with the privacy clause in a new way that could open the door for many other accomplishments that save lives.”
“Even in this climate of rampant hate speech coming from elected officials, Sen. Baxley stands out for his racist and anti-abortion rhetoric,” said Crishelle Bailey, Secretary of FAMU Generation Action. “To rationalize his staunch anti-abortion stance he proudly parrots white supremacist ‘replacement theory’ that has been linked to recent hate crimes including mass murders from Texas to New Zealand.”
Baxley on WLRN: “When you get a birth rate less than 2 percent, that society is disappearing,” he said of Western Europe. “And it’s being replaced by folks that come behind them and immigrate, don’t wish to assimilate into that society and they do believe in having children. So you see that there are long range impacts to your society when the answer is to exterminate.”
“We know that passing this bill is really just the first step to taking away Florida’s Roe v. Wade,” said FSU Generation Action President Michelle Stern.
Florida law already requires parents to be notified when a minor wants to have an abortion. The small percentage who do not voluntarily consult a parent often have good reason. Many come from families where such an announcement would only exacerbate an already volatile or dysfunctional situation. Others fear they would be physically abused because their parents had beaten them before. That’s why leading health and medical professionals oppose these laws.
“You know, these young leaders are right,” said Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando). “There is a larger plan at work behind this forced parental consent bill. But the truth is, this bill is bad enough all on its own. Parental involvement laws may sound good in theory, but, in the real world, they put teenagers in real danger.”
The forced parental consent bill is just one part of a broad-based attack on abortion rights in Florida in 2020 that includes House Bill 271, an even more radical six-week abortion ban, this time with no exceptions for rape and incest.
Seventy-five percent of Floridians agree that women should have the ability to decide whether to have an abortion with her doctor without the government interfering. And more than three-quarters of Americans (77%) do not want Roe v. Wade overturned. This includes a majority of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents.
“To the senators about to vote on this Trojan Horse of a bill I say this: you are either with Senator Baxley and his racist ‘replacement theory’ rhetoric, or you are with the young people of Florida and the medical professionals working to keep them safe and healthy,” said Bailey.