The most recent uproar in the Floridian’s Pro-life/Pro-choice debate reached a new height earlier this week in light of former Governor Charlie Crist’s most recent bill signing. The bill known as HB 633, is set to roll into action on July 1st, 2015 which will establish a 24 hour waiting period for women to reflect their decision between the initial visit to the abortion clinic and the actual procedure. Being a resident of Florida myself, news of this victory in my home state is very exciting as well as relieving. Passing the Florida Senate with a 22-13 vote, the bill was approved by the house with an official vote count of 77-41 and will join 24 other states who also require a 24 hour reflection. While this success is a huge milestone for the Pro-life community, Pro-choice citizens were quick to file a lawsuit in opposition to the HB 633, claiming (again) that the restriction on abortion procedures impedes female reproductive rights. One particular article that drew my attention claimed this bill was wrong by stating, “Women of color, low-income women, rural women, and women in abusive relationships already face challenges when they seek health-care services, and waiting periods only increase these barriers”. This particular statement drew my attention due to its unnecessary assertion as well as plausible reasons of doubt regarding a woman’s safety.
While it is true that women of low income families are at a higher risk of having an abortion due to financial hardships, HB 633 will not in any way change the financial circumstances of the family but instead, it will give women the chance to consider alternative solutions. In the state of Florida, as do many other states, there are pregnancy crisis centers and services to women who are in need of help; whether it be adoption or even care for mothers while they are going through the pregnancy through providing baby formula, diapers, etc. Such centers include Jacksonville for Life, True Life Choices, and First Care Women’s Clinic. These centers are dedicated to the preservation of the life and well-being of both the mother and unborn baby.
In regards to women of abusive relationships, it can be sympathized and understood that aborting the child will prevent future abuse to the baby, however what many people initially fail to realize is that having an abortion will still leave the woman in danger and alone. While the Pro-choice community may use such an example to justify the abortion procedure, it is not truly going to help the mother to have an abortion yet still remain in the domain of her attacker/abuser. As mentioned above, there are resource centers and safe houses to provide safety and comfort to the mother in such a time of distress, often at no cost to her. The HB 633 reflection bill can actually help assist an abused mother by allowing her the chance to consider the choice that can help protect her own well-being as well as the child. If a mother decides to go along with the choice of having an abortion after the 24-hour reflection period, the law still allows her to proceed with the abortion, therefore Pro-Choice arguments of truly “impeding women’s rights” can be deemed void.
This recent Pro-life victory has the opportunity to save the lives of countless unborn children in the state of Florida, and considerable thanks and appreciation goes out to the senate, house, and Governor Charlie Crist himself for extending measured protection for the safety of the unborn. If you are or know someone who is in an abusive relationship, or financially unable to care for your child, please know there is help available for you and caring, non-judgmental staff members who seek only to help protect mother and child. Below are listed a couple clinics in Florida that may be reached, who alternatively, have their own list of resources that are available.