Leaders for the organization pledge to do “whatever it
takes” to ensure Floridians’ reproductive rights.
Faced with the introduction of a statewide abortion ban bill (H.B. 5) by Florida Representative Grail (R-Vero Beach), Florida NOW President Debbie Deland stated, “Several issues make this bill unconscionable.
“Any abortion ban in Florida would make reproductive health care signiﬁcantly more difﬁcult to access for thousands of Floridians,” said Deland. “Like all abortion restrictions, the burdens imposed by abortion bans fall hardest on those who already face structural barriers to health care – especially Black, Indigenous and other people of color, young people, and undocumented people.”
“An abortion ban won’t do anything to address challenges facing Floridians right now,” said Deland. “Instead, it will harm our families and threaten our health. These bans are about control. Forcing pregnancy is unconscionable.”
Florida NOW Vice President Sandi Weeks reported on mental health risks, as well as physical health risks, posed by Rep. Grall’s’s proposed abortion ban, which provides no exemptions for rape and incest. “As a rape survivor, I can speak to the psychological damage suffered by those who become pregnant as a result of rape or incest,” she stated. “When I was raped, I knew to get emergency contraception. Had I found myself pregnant I risked becoming suicidal; I could see myself jumping off a bridge to kill myself. Just think how it would affect a girl, pregnant through incest.”
Deland and Weeks pledge to be leaders in the reproductive health and rights movement. They will continue Florida NOW’s work to ensure Floridians have all the rights, freedoms, and opportunities to control our lives at the most basic level: our bodies, our families, and our life’s path – and that includes the right and ability to have an abortion.
Florida NOW’s purpose is to take action through intersectional grassroots activism to promote feminist ideals, lead societal change, eliminate discrimination, and achieve and protect the equal rights of all women and girls in all aspects of social, political, and economic life.