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 _____________________________________________________________________________
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.
|Tampa Bay Access Force — SPONSOR||34695|
|A Woman’s Choice of Jacksonville||32216|
|Access Reproductive Care-Southeast||30357|
|Carolina Abortion Fund||27701|
|Direct Action Everywhere Pinellas||33701|
|Emergency Medical Assistance||33486|
|Florida Health Justice Project||33156|
|Florida Policy Action Network||32301|
|Holler Health Justice||25339|
|Indigenous Women Rising||87194|
|Interfaith Students for Reproductive Health & Justice USF Tampa||33620|
|Jane’s Due Process||78768|
|Latina Institute for Reproductive Justice Florida||33137|
|League of Women Voters of the Space Coast||32926|
|Mississippi Reproductive Freedom Fund||39204|
|National Organization for Women – Florida||32835|
|National Organization for Women – Florida Education Fund||32903|
|National Organization for Women Greater Orlando Chapter||32835|
|National Organization for Women Jacksonville Chapter||32201|
|National Organization for Women Pasco Chapter||34656|
|National Organization for Women Pinellas Chapter||33706|
|New Orleans Abortion Fund||70119|
|New River Abortion Access Fund||24060|
|Planned Parenthood Generation Action USF Tampa||33620|
|Presidential Women’s Center||33407|
|Pro-Choice Advocacy League||33868|
|Reproductive Health Access Project, Florida Chapter||10025|
|Sex Worker Solidarity Network||33609|
|Tampa Bay Abortion Fund||34695|
|Tampa Bay Area Harm Reduction||33609|
|Tampa Bay Housing Justice Committee Working Group||33609|
|Tampa Woman’s Health Center||33612|
|Texas Equal Access Fund||75222|
|Women’s Emergency Network||33256|
|Women’s Voices Media||33776|
|Womens March Central Gulf Coast FL||34609|