FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: March 11, 2022
Orlando – Today, Debbie Deland, president of Florida National Organization for Women, released the following statement in anticipation of HB 5, Florida’s abortion ban bill, arriving on the Governor’s desk for approval or veto.
Statement from Debbie Deland, president of Florida NOW:
“Ron DeSantis travels the state crusading for his version of freedom. He admonishes young people to remove masks and school systems to end Covid safety protocols to protect liberty. Throughout the pandemic, he has seen such measures as limiting Floridians’ ability to live their lives freely, inhibiting our pursuit of happiness.
“Yet, this same man has promised to sign the most draconian of restrictions on bodily autonomy in Florida history. The abortion ban bill he is waiting to hit his desk for signature criminalizes doctors who offer abortion care to patients beyond 15 weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for most fetal abnormalities or for survivors of rape or incest.
“A long-held principle of the National Organization for Women is our affirmation that reproductive rights are issues of life and death, not mere matters of ‘choice’. The right to abortion is fundamental to a person’s participation in the social and economic life of the nation. Generations have relied on this right to shape their lives and futures.
“Floridians do not need cruel bans that result in the criminalization of medical care. Every person and every pregnancy is different. The complexities of this must be acknowledged. Patients’ and families’ decisions must be listened to and respected. One-size-fits-all restrictions have no place in health care delivery or the state’s public health laws.
“NOW knows that access to safe and legal abortion is a cornerstone to reproductive justice. Restricting reproductive rights is anti-justice, anti-public health, and anti-liberty. Governor DeSantis, the leader of the supposed ‘freedom state’ of Florida must veto HB 5.”