Mariantonia Mejia | Staff Writer
My doctor asked when my last period was at my recent doctor’s appointment. For the first time in my life, I wasn’t comfortable disclosing that.
As a female Floridian, I no longer feel safe with any institution knowing details about my reproductive system. This newfound fear comes with the signing of Senate Bill 300, or the “Heartbeat Protection Act,” which bans abortion after six weeks.
This bill will not be effective immediately. The Florida Supreme Court must first rule on the challenge to the 15-week abortion ban presented by abortion providers.
Though there are exceptions for rape, incest, fatal fetal abnormalities or other life-threatening risks to the pregnant person, these strict rules brought by the bill result in ignored claims. Ultimately forcing someone’s birth.
These rules become even more absurd when taking into account that more than 2 out of 3 sexual assaults go unreported.
Democratic lawmakers proposed many amendments to the bill that soften requirements when reporting rape. They suggested giving minors more time or even finding exceptions to the two-physician certification requirement for a fatal fetal abnormality diagnosis. But Republicans consistently shot them down.
This heinous behavior shows that their desperation to force people to give birth has absolutely nothing to do with being “pro-life.” Many of these births result in either the death of the infant or parent.
The goal is to target and control women.
Conservatives don’t view birthing people as anything other than women, which is evident in their transphobia.
They barely view trans people as people. Much less as someone who deserves respect. Florida conservatives have been on a mission to eradicate gender-affirming care.
So, when making laws that target the bodies of birthing people, they believe women are the only ones affected.
Trans people do actually exist, despite Conservative belief. They’re affected by this law just as much as cisgender women.
This bill will also prevent the state from funding organizations that provide abortions or help pregnant people travel to another state to receive one. It also prevents mailing abortion pills.
SB 300 certainly affects minority and lower-income communities. It will become practically impossible to terminate a pregnancy without traveling to another state, something many people don’t have the resources to do without institutional help.
Not to mention, it’s extremely common for people to be completely unaware of their pregnancy before the six-week mark. The time limit is incredibly harsh.
One of the more insidious aspects of this bill is the $25 million allocated towards organizations posing as abortion clinics that discourage pregnant people from obtaining an abortion.
Not only is this a complete waste of government funds, but it contributes to traumatizing thousands of pregnant people simply trying to seek healthcare. A basic human right.
This new bill comes as no surprise to those who are watching Gov. Ron DeSantis’s actions over the past year.
With a concoction of harmful bills that threaten the lives of any Floridian who isn’t a straight, white man, Florida has become one of the most dangerous states to live in as a minority.
Frankly, these calls to action are getting exhausting. One cannot ask for people to speak about one issue in Florida before another pops up in its place.
These laws are relentlessly attacking women, queer people and immigrants. And we’re tired.
Please involve yourself in the local legislature as much as possible. Protest, vote and stand up for what is truly just. Most importantly, check on the people in your life who’re affected by these heinous bills.
We have a terrifying future ahead of us.
The opinions presented on this page do not represent the views of the PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.