Don’t pay attention to abortion rights fear-mongering by DeSantis and Florida GOP | Opinion

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

In a post-Roe v. Wade world, where abortion rights are left to states, there’s no more important issue on the November ballot — for all Floridians — than to secure a woman’s constitutional right to reproductive healthcare.

This is why, with President Joe Biden campaigning on the issue of abortion in Tampa Tuesday, the Florida GOP and Gov. Ron DeSantis have been busy fear-mongering and spinning falsehoods about what setting those rights in stone would entail under Florida’s proposed constitutional amendment.

“Radical,” DeSantis called the amendment. “Extremist.”

It’s neither.

The amendment doesn’t change, as DeSantis contended, the Legislature’s authority to require parental or guardian permission for a minor to get an abortion.

But the governor and his attorney general, Ashley Moody, couldn’t win their all-out effort to get Florida’s conservative Supreme Court to prevent the effort to give voters the right to decide an issue so crucial to women. One that could also have tremendous impact on the presidential election.

So Republicans are out to win. Their strategy is to confuse independent voters.

Don’t fall for it.

The amendment would protect Floridians from the GOP’s end goal: a total ban.

For women, the abortion fight in Florida isn’t about Biden or Democrats vying to return to power in state politics.

It’s personal.

Abortion is a health concern that directly affects only women. Men as partners have a stake, but there’s no comparison. And yes, abortion vs. forced birth is a decision that can break families in myriad ways, another reason that politicians shouldn’t be involved.

For everyone’s sake, take the red-Florida politics out of abortion, or our children and grandchildren may not forgive you for the future being denied to our loved ones — and strangers whose lives we know nothing about and shouldn’t judge.

READ MORE: Florida voters are ‘hoodwinked’ alright. But not by women seeking abortion access | Opinion

Abortion rights support daughters

No, it isn’t a cliche to say that abortion is healthcare. The decision to give birth or not affects a woman’s physical and mental health like nothing else, except perhaps a deadly disease. The right to an abortion cannot be taken off the table without risking lives, as not everyone has a safe pregnancy.

In fact, a new study by Northwestern Medicine reports that the maternal mortality rate is accelerating at an alarming pace in every age group, the greatest relative increases among people aged 25 to 29 and 30 to 34 years old.

When it’s your daughter with a zygote or an embryo inside of her threatening her life, you, her parents — Democrat or Republican — will want doctors to have constitutionally-guaranteed access to whatever tools they need to keep her healthy. At that moment, you won’t want medical care professionals hamstrung by laws set by a political party that could send them to prison.

And this is our reality: Medical professionals are petrified of being prosecuted now that a six-week ban on abortion, passed by the Florida Legislature and signed into law by DeSantis, goes into effect May 1, 30 days after the Florida Supreme Court’s ruling.

U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, left, comforts Anabely Lopes, who had to leave Florida for an abortion. Her fetus had fatal condition.
U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, left, comforts Anabely Lopes, who had to leave Florida for an abortion. Her fetus had fatal condition.

A six-week ban is, in the real world, an outright ban.

Most likely, so early in a pregnancy, a woman — or a teenager, especially — won’t know she’s pregnant. And if you don’t think your daughter is having sex because you’ve taught her better, you’re living in a delusional world. If you don’t think she can be date-raped in high school or college, you’re living in a bubble.

Be your daughters’ and granddaughters’ champions and defend abortion rights in Florida. Question the motives of the people who have taken away those rights, placing obstacles in front of girls that boys don’t have to face.

There’s nothing “wrong” with “enshrining abortion,” as the anti-abortion lobby is framing the effort to pass Amendment 4, in the Florida Constitution.

What’s inconceivable is how little Florida’s Republican leaders care about female life.