Tampa Bay Access Force Opposes SB744

TAMPA BAY ACCESS FORCE

SB744 – Protection of a Pain-capable Unborn Child from Abortion

Presented to the Hon. Manny Diaz, Jr. and Members of the Senate Health Policy Committee February 3, 2021 _____________________________________________________________________________

POSITION: OPPOSE

The Tampa Bay Access Force and Partners Oppose Restrictions on the Right to an Abortion in Florida. We urge the members of the Health Policy Committee to vote no on SB 744. This bill is an attack on the state’s constitutional right to privacy and a pregnant person’s right to determine their own medical interests with their doctor.

The looming threat of this bill has led the Tampa Bay Access Force to draw together a coalition of local and regional organizations aligned with abortion rights and access to oppose its passage.

Our coalition opposes any attempts to limit the ability for Floridians to access an abortion and especially for our legislative resources to be diverted from far more pressing healthcare and economic issues like COVID relief.

We also takes issue with SB 744’s premise to limit abortion prior to the point of viability – which is generally believed to be at around 24-26 weeks gestation. SB 744 seeks to ban abortion at 20 weeks gestation, citing an erroneous and medically unsubstantiated claim that a fetus is capable of feeling pain at that point.

There is no scientific proof that a fetus can feel pain prior to the third trimester, according to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

While limiting abortion access by a month or more is problematic on its own, even more alarming is the potential that this bill has to limit abortion even more in the future. The so-called “fetal pain” based ban provides language that could allow abortion to be banned as early as 8 weeks gestation should the U.S. Supreme Court ever rule that “pain” could be used as a criteria in which to ban abortion.

Also concerning is the obvious intention to suggest a point of “personhood” for a fetus that could be seen by the state Supreme Court as superseding the patient’s right to privacy on which the right to an abortion is based.

Please find below the list of individuals and organizations who have signed on to this opposition as of February 3, 2021 below.

Organization

Zip Code

Tampa Bay Access Force — SPONSOR34695
A Woman’s Choice of Jacksonville32216
Access Reproductive Care-Southeast30357
American Atheists32309
Carolina Abortion Fund27701
Charlotte Uprising28269
Direct Action Everywhere Pinellas33701
Emergency Medical Assistance33486
Equality Florida33733
Florida Health Justice Project33156
Florida Policy Action Network32301
Holler Health Justice25339
Indigenous Women Rising87194
Interfaith Students for Reproductive Health & Justice USF Tampa33620
Jane’s Due Process78768
Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice Florida33137
League of Women Voters of the Space Coast32926
Lilith Fund78768
LWVB33021
Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund39204
National Organization for Women – Florida32835
National Organization for Women – Florida Education Fund32903
National Organization for Women Greater Orlando Chapter32835
National Organization for Women Jacksonville Chapter32201
National Organization for Women Pasco Chapter34656
National Organization for Women Pinellas Chapter33706
New Orleans Abortion Fund70119
New River Abortion Access Fund24060
Planned Parenthood Generation Action USF Tampa33620
Presidential Women’s Center 33407
Pro-Choice Advocacy League33868
Reproductive Health Access Project, Florida Chapter10025
Sex Worker Solidarity Network33609
Tampa Bay Abortion Fund34695
Tampa Bay Area Harm Reduction33609
Tampa Bay Housing Justice Committee Working Group33609
Tampa Woman’s Health Center33612
Texas Equal Access Fund75222
Women’s Emergency Network33256
Women’s Voices Media33776
Womens March Central Gulf Coast FL34609
Yellowhammer Fund35401
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