Mariantonia Mejia | Staff Writer
A new bill restricting reproductive freedom has been filed by House Republican David Borrero. It would ultimately finalize the ban on abortions in Florida, with only one exception.
HB 1519 states that “a person or an entity may not purposely perform or attempt to perform an abortion except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency.”
The bill is aimed at physicians who perform abortions, rather than the people who get them. It states that they could be fined up to $100,000 or spend ten years in prison.
Still, this bill removes the last shred of reproductive bodily autonomy that birthing people have in the state of Florida, and is clearly targeting those who can get pregnant.
Even though the repercussions of this bill falls on physicians, this bill will cause doctors to be unwilling to provide abortions and inevitably force people to leave the state just to get reproductive healthcare.
Despite the fact that there are exceptions for life-threatening pregnancies, the use of non-medical and unclear language makes it so that healthcare providers are hesitant to provide reproductive care, not knowing what constitutes “life-threatening”.
For example, many physicians have raised concerns that they’re unsure whether they are banned from prescribing certain medications when the purpose is to abort, or if the medication is banned entirely.
These types of restrictive laws could result in a pregnant person’s death- in other countries it already has.
A Florida woman nearly died after being denied an abortion for an unviable fetus. This resulted in her passing the fetus in a public restroom and losing a near fatal amount of blood during emergency surgery.
To force a mother to bring a baby that they know will not survive into this world for the purposes of “protecting life” is the most anti-human life action imaginable.
It shows that there is no true value or care for human life, as conservatives claim, but rather the obsessive need to control the bodies of people whose personhood they don’t respect.
Then there’s the mental health consequences of this bill.
And, because these bills do not take suicide into account as a “life-threatening” exception, those that attempt it could potentially be charged with feticide, manslaughter, or even murder.
There is a special kind of depravity in creating laws so restrictive that young adults feel hopeless.
It is a disturbing need for complete and total control.
If this bill were to go into effect, it would be a devastating blow to all Floridian birthing people, but especially those that already experience a higher amount of roadblocks in healthcare, such as black, brown and queer people.
In a study done by the Keiser Family Foundation, it was found that in 2023, across 70 health and healthcare measures, Black, Hispanic and AI/AN (American Indian/Alaskan Native) people fared much worse than their white counterparts.
The Student Health & Wellness Center at FIU refers to itself as “sex-positive”, which is a helpful mindset to prevent unwanted pregnancy. They provide free access to contraceptives such as condoms.
Medical Students for Choice is another FIU group that is dedicated to connecting birthing people with “a full range of reproductive healthcare choices”. They also provide abortion training programs to medical students.
Despite these incredibly helpful resources, it is completely understandable to be afraid.
Abortions are a necessary and life-saving form of healthcare no matter which way you look at it, and this authoritarian bill is an attack on reproductive health overall.
In a state where it is becoming increasingly more terrifying to have a uterus, we must do all we can to protect our own reproductive rights, because the government certainly will not.
Our right to autonomy as birthing people is under attack, and we cannot stay silent.
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.