Well that didn’t take long.
As soon as Texas passed its law prohibiting women from carrying out abortions as early as six weeks, Floriduh man, specifically Webster Barnaby (R-Deltona), quickly began to work on our version. Will it pass?
Have no doubt, when it comes to the rights of women, Governor Ron DeSantis is regressive. To put it bluntly, most likely women’s inalienable right to abortions will be impeded right here in the good ole state of Florida.
If you question my use of a “woman’s inalienable right to abortions,” I’ll let you in on my argument. I’m talking about a matter of fact, an indestructible truth, if you will. Inalienable rights are neither granted nor taken by politicians. They are recognized. Such recognized inalienable rights include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but there are more rights than just these three. Inalienable rights are best summed up by the United Nation’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights, “the inherent dignity and … equal and inalienable rights of all members of the human family is the foundation of freedom, justice and peace in the world.”
Barnaby’s anti-abortion bill would not create peace. Quite the opposite. It would create violence.
It would allow Florida’s perverts to have their way, just like Barnaby apparently wants: to figuratively control women’s vaginas via fiat. (Yes, to some that may sound vulgar; so is Barnaby’s bill.) It would force women, especially poor women, to use their inalienable right to an abortion in the pursuit — not of happiness — but of suicide or other means of terminating an unwanted fetus (fetus being the term used by doctors, physicians, MD’s, and such). It would criminalize both safe abortions and the doctors who perform them.
Barnaby’s bill, HB 167, also known as The Florida Heartbeat Act, reads like a white paper trying to be pornography, the language of which will surely be picked up by deviants everywhere. The bill is speckled with references to killing and makes it sound as if doctors are terminating living children, when abortion is nothing like that.
According to National Public Radio, the bill keeps “incorrectly calling a fetus a baby,” as in “the unborn baby,” for which the “unborn baby” is “part of the strategy used by antiabortion groups to shift language/legality/public opinion.” In other words, Barnaby’s bill plays semantics with women’s medical health. As a language expert, I find this politicization of women’s bodies both repulsive and immoral.
Like Texas’ law, Florida’s bill offers a $10,000 vigilante prize. It’s what Barnaby calls “private civil enforcement.” But what is it actually?
It’s a reward for those who catch others who aid women seeking abortions. For example, the closest abortion clinics to me are the Kissimmee Health Center or the Lakeland Women’s Health Center, both a good hour drive. If Barnaby’s bill passes, publishing this one piece of information alone could get me into the “aiding or abetting” category after July 1, 2022, which is when the bill is expected to become law.
Women already have a tough time getting information on abortions because Ron DeSantis lets it be so, so of course he’s going to Texas the poor in Florida with this bill. Pro forced-birth DeSantis will surely sign it. And, while he’s at it, he’s going to have the benefit of imposing his Christian values on poor Floridians too.
Florida is evidently overrun with anti-abortion facilities that are “Christian-run and portray themselves as medical centers despite operating without medical licenses or licensed professionals.” Most of these facilities “receive financial backing from the anti-abortion group Florida Pregnancy Care Network, which according to a 2018 report in the Tampa Bay Times, received more than $21 million in state funding through the Florida Department of Health.” HB 167 intends to promote use of these Christian facilities when it refers to “alternatives to terminating the pregnancy.” (The bill would require physicians to give a list of these alternative resources to women seeking nothing more than a medical procedure free of religion.)
HB 167 would also require doctors to keep extensive written records on a woman’s most private medical information. Then, it would allow the staff of the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA ) to peak inside those records at our most private medical information. More so, HB 167 would require AHCA, “when performing a license inspection of a clinic … [to] inspect at least 50 percent of patient records.”
It would attempt to keep people from declaring the bill unconstitutional in spite of it being unconstitutional. That is, to order half of the population to adhere to draconian rules that impedes their freedom — our bodies, our choice — is reminiscent of the Hanger Age of Abortion, when women were dying from back alley procedures.
With this bill, both a woman and her doctor can basically be charged with a safe abortion, and not by police but by “private civil enforcement,” pitting neighbor against neighbor while simultaneously marking the subject of abortion taboo for all Floridians. For example, what would stop anyone from reporting a so-called suspicious miscarriage? What would stop the police from investigating miscarriages reported by nut jobs and Karens?
Not HB 167. The Heartbeat Act is, simply put, not good for women and not good for the outcomes of these proposed forced births. Put them up for adoption? Into a foster system that is already overloaded?
Just imagine becoming the victim of a forced birth by the state, being required to bear unwanted children. Dystopian at the very least. To some, it would certainly make suicide seem like an option.