SB 444/HB 41, which we wrote about yesterday (see below), is now scheduled to be heard on the floor of the House during this Thursday’s afternoon session starting at 1:00 PM for second reading and questions. On Friday’s morning session at 10:30 AM, it will then be up for third reading, along with debate and a vote on bill.
It is imperative that those who believe in reproductive rights reach out to House representatives now to advocate against passage of HB 41 — the bill that legitimizes Crisis Pregnancy Centers posing as fake clinics to keep women from accessing abortion care.
Call 1-844-899-9394 to reach the Capitol. The phone service will ask you to input your zip code and then will direct you to your Representative’s office number.
Suggested message for you: “Please vote no on HB 41. This bill legitimizes entities pretending to be medical providers for women with unintended pregnancy. But really they do not provide medically accurate information, delaying care, and risking women’s health.”
Read on for more yesterday’s message which lists background and further resources.
Senate Bill 444 is rapidly advancing through the Florida Legislature and we need your help to stop it. SB 444/HB 41 would make permanent a program that funds so-called Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs), most often run by organizations opposed to abortion — not medical professionals. CPCs have been known to use medically inaccurate or incomplete information and intimidation tactics to dissuade women from obtaining abortions.
The CPC bill is on the Senate Appropriations on Health and Human Services Committee agenda this Wednesday, January 10 at 4pm. Wednesday will be our final opportunity for public testimony. The House companion has already passed through committees and will soon be moving to the House floor for a vote.
Please flood these targeted members’ offices with calls:
- Chair: Senator Anitere Flores 850-487-5039
- Vice Chair: Senator Kelli Stargel 850-487-5022
- Senator Dennis Baxley 850-487-5012
- Senator Kathleen Passidomo 850-487-5028
Suggested language for these calls:
“Please vote no on SB 444, which would legitimize entities pretending to be medical providers but that do not actually provide medically accurate information. This delays and risks the health care of women across the state.”
CPCs intentionally withhold essential, sometimes life-saving, reproductive health information from women who are tricked into thinking they are visiting an objective medical facility. There are more than 120 such entities in Florida. We are not questioning their right to exist, but we oppose CPCs receiving State funding or State credentialing. For more information on CPCs, view this 18-minute expose by Vice News.
The League of Women Voter’s position that “public policy in a pluralistic society must affirm the constitutional right of privacy of the individual to make reproductive choices” upholds the idea that when a woman has decided to seek birth control or discuss her reproductive health options, she deserves to access that care from a qualified medical provider, without judgment, shame, or trickery. Too often, these fake clinics judge, shame, and intentionally try to trick women out of getting the care they are seeking.
What’s worse, although CPCs oppose abortion and contraception and therefore will not provide comprehensive counseling or referrals, their advertising and outward appearances are frequently calculated to deceive women into believing they will be able to access a full range of reproductive health care services.
Our tax dollars should not be spent misleading women and endangering their health. With your help, we stopped a similar bill last legislative session, but your voice is needed now more than ever.
The League of Women Voters will keep defending Floridian women’s access to medically accurate information, as well as access to the full range of reproductive health care services.