It’s been a big week for Supreme Court decisions, with SCOTUS striking down the Texas law designed to close women’s clinics by instituting absurd, medically unnecessary restrictions. These anti-choice tactics are known as TRAP laws (Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers) and require women’s care facilities to needlessly be outfitted as ambulatory surgical centers, and providers to have “admitting privileges” at a “nearby” hospitals, within a short drive, which is impossible in rural areas.
Here in Florida we have a big decision today that will affect HB 1411, which is the law that allows Rick Scott to deceive Florida women by telling them they can walk into a dental clinic, say in Apopka, and get birth control.
Our friends at Organize Now tested this, and here’s what happened.
SPOILER ALERT: no one at the dental clinic knew anything about how they were supposed to be providing birth control — even though Governor Rick Scott put Apopka Dental Clinic on the approved list of alternative providers.
Governor Scott, Who Will Keep Florida’s Women Healthy and Safe?
FIRE Joined Forces with Community Members to Expose Governor Scott’s Lies About Being Able to Access Preventive Services and Reproductive Health at Any Medical Center
Orlando, FL. – Yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court’s historic decision striking down a Texas law designed to shut down abortion clinics with medically unnecessary restrictions has given hope to women and families in Florida. The decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt reaffirms a woman’s constitutional right to access legal abortion, and will empower women to fight back against deceptive anti-choice laws in Texas and beyond. This ruling comes just before the Florida Supreme Court decision on HB 1411 that will take place this Wednesday. If not overturned, it will go into effect this Friday, July 1st.
Today, FIRE visited Apopka Dental Care and requested access to reproductive health care in order to debunk Governor Scott’s argument that services for women’s sexual and reproductive health are provided at any Florida medical center. In March, conservative lawmakers presented a list of places women could go for birth control, pap smears, and other reproductive services once Planned Parenthood is barred from taking Medicaid. Apopka Dental Care is on that list.
During the visit, Nada Abou-Senna, a supporter of FIRE asks the dental clinic staff for birth control. The dental clinic staff was bewildered and asked “We don’t do that here, this is a dental clinic.” This is the exact thoughts we had when presented with the list.
Watch the videos:
“If my local Planned Parenthood gets shut down and I need a pap smear or birth control prescription, our Healthcare Hypocrites have found it in their best interest to send me to a dentist instead.” said LaQuinta Alexander, Reproductive Justice Organizer for FIRE. “We are still fighting to protect abortion access and we must depend on the courts to overturn HB 1411 tomorrow to guarantee that all women can exercise their Constitutional right to abortion access in Florida.”
HB 1411 will create a delay, increase costs and establish another barrier for women and families across Florida. The limited access would only advance the decrease of reproductive resources for many low income women and women of color.
“In Florida, the very real threat posed by our state legislature determining where women can receive reproductive services once again underscores why women’s autonomy on issues related to pregnancy is so crucial.” said Kim Paige, local community activist with FIRE. “All women – no matter where they live – must have access to the necessary counseling, information, and services in order to live a healthy and productive life.”