Amid growing uncertainty over the future of abortion access in states across the country, State Representative Ben Diamond (D-St. Petersburg) and State Senator Lori Berman (D-Delray Beach) have filed the Reproductive Health Care Protection Act. HB 709 and SB 1036 guarantee a person’s right to access reproductive health care in the State of Florida and prohibit any individual or government entity from denying a citizen’s fundamental rights of privacy with respect to their personal reproductive decisions.
“The Florida Constitution recognizes an explicit right to privacy, which has protected the people of Florida’s right to reproductive health care for decades. The Reproductive Health Care Protection Act reaffirms that these protections apply to Floridians’ ability to access abortion care, and any attempt to interfere with a person’s ability to exercise these fundamental rights is unacceptable in the State of Florida, ” said State Representative Ben Diamond. “While Texas’ new draconian anti-abortion law provides others the ability to restrict their fellow citizens’ right to privacy and reproductive health care, this legislation would ensure Floridians have the right to enforce their own constitutional rights.”
The Reproductive Health Care Protection Act will also provide a civil cause of action for any person whose fundamental rights to privacy are deprived or unduly burdened when seeking comprehensive reproductive health care in the State of Florida.
“Republican legislators in Florida have long been out of touch with how constituents feel regarding access to a safe and legal abortion,” stated Senator Berman. “In my 11 years as a state legislator, I have seen dozens of bills proposed that erode a woman’s right to choose. Many of these bills, unfortunately, have passed, due to our extreme conservative legislature. While some have rejected this extremism, there is still a movement to promote anti-abortion legislation. The Legislature needs to recognize that abortion is healthcare and stop interfering in decisions between a woman, her healthcare provider and those with whom she chooses to consult. That is why I have filed this bill with Rep. Diamond – to declare women’s fundamental rights to reproductive care.”
Senator Berman concluded, “It is time for a new generation of younger women to pick up the torch and not take reproductive rights for granted. We must act together to ensure any extremist legislation is defeated and counter that legislation with better, strong alternatives.”