GOP State Representative Files Texas-Style Abortion Bill; Nurse Blasts Rubio; School Quarantine Policy

8 mins read

This morning Republican Florida State Representative Webster Barnaby filed a Texas-style abortion ban that would prohibit abortions in the state after a fetus’s heartbeat has been detected. The bill (HB 167) would empower private individuals, not state authorities, to enforce the proposed law.
In reaction to this appalling development, Florida Democratic Party Chairman Manny Diaz issued the following statement:

“This morning’s filing of a Texas-style anti-choice bill is as outrageous as it is unsurprising. The GOP’s radical and abject hostility to women’s reproductive and health care rights has been on display across the nation for decades. And now a bunch of men are getting ready to launch an all-out assault on women’s rights and are willing to deputize and reward bounty hunters to enforce their control over women’s lives. 

“With the implementation of Texas’ unconscionable anti-choice vigilante bill, and the Supreme Court’s decision not to rule on it immediately, it was only a matter of time before Florida Republicans rushed to assault a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions. Women have a right to decide what happens in their lives, to their lives.

“Let me be absolutely clear, the Florida Democratic Party will mobilize down to the last woman and man in our ranks; we will exhaust every resource, contest every legislative maneuver and join every battle necessary to ensure a woman’s right to choose in our state. If Republicans attempt to bring Texas’ shocking and radical anti-abortion bill to Florida, we will give them the fight of their lives.”

ICYMI: Florida Nurse Blasts Marco Rubio’s Dangerous Anti-Abortion Record

Marco Rubio’s long anti-abortion record has helped lay the groundwork for recent attacks on reproductive health care across the country. With Florida Republicans preparing to mimic Texas’ draconian abortion restrictions, Floridians are speaking out, and taking Rubio to task for supporting this dangerous agenda. 
As Deborah Montgomery-Farrar, a registered nurse at a Palm Beach County hospital, writes in a recent op-ed, “Marco Rubio and Florida Republicans are sending a clear message with their support for these measures to ban abortion: the health and well being of Florida women don’t matter to them.” 
See below for highlights from the op-ed: 
Palm Beach Post: Rubio and the scarlet ‘A’ for abortionBy Deborah Montgomery-Farrar

Key Points: 

  • Marco Rubio has been campaigning since the 2000’s on a platform of banning abortion and making contraceptive care more difficult to access. In the Senate, he’s made it his mission to support extremist judges who share his view that the constitutional right to abortion is a “catastrophe” and should be abolished. 
  • SB8, the Texas law banning abortion after just six weeks — before many women even know they are pregnant — is precisely the type of policy Marco Rubio has been championing for years.
  • As a nurse who works closely with newborns, pregnant women, and mothers, my entire job revolves around reproductive health care. My patients deserve the best standards of care, and I work every day to make sure they’re empowered to make the right decisions for themselves and their families. The last thing they need are politicians making those decisions for them.
  • Like Rubio, the Texas Republicans who wrote SB8 do not believe women who survived rape or incest have the right to make their own healthcare decisions. But Rubio’s attacks on women’s health care go beyond reproductive rights. He has also worked to block access to contraceptives, introducing a bill to gut health insurance coverage of birth control, and this year filing a bill to defund Planned Parenthood.
  • Marco Rubio and Florida Republicans are sending a clear message with their support for these measures to ban abortion: the health and well being of Florida women don’t matter to them. Back in 2001, Rubio even supported Florida’s so-called “Scarlet Letter Law,” which mandated that single mothers giving their children up for adoption publish their sexual histories in local newspapers to alert the children’s potential father of her decision.
  • The midterm elections are the chance for Floridians to show Marco Rubio and Florida Republicans up and down the ballot that undermining our rights is a fireable offense.

Statement from Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz on New Rule Issued by Surgeon General Regarding School Quarantine Policy

On Wednesday Florida’s newly appointed Surgeon General and secretary of Florida’s Department of Health, Dr. Joseph Ladapo, issued a new rule laying out a dangerous new COVID-19 quarantine policy for schools across the state. The new rule allows students who have been exposed to someone with the disease to still come to school and participate in school activities without even being tested as long as they don’t present symptoms. 

The CDC says people who have become infected can spread the virus as long as two days before presenting symptoms, and recommends a 14-day quarantine for exposed students, or at least seven days away from campus if they test negative for COVID.

In reaction to this new rule, Florida Democratic Party Chair Manny Diaz issued the following statement:
“The new rules signed yesterday by Florida’s newly appointed anti-vaxx, anti-mask Surgeon General represent a clear continuation of the DeSantis administration’s war on scientific consensus, not to mention common sense. Allowing children to continue going to school even after being exposed to someone who has tested positive for the coronavirus as long as they are asymptomatic directly contradicts the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“Ron DeSantis is not interested in slowing down the rate of COVID infections in Florida, that much is clear. His only motivation is to cater to a radical pandemic-denialist, anti-vaccine, anti-masking constituency within his own party, and he has hand picked a new Surgeon General who will buck the overwhelming scientific consensus to validate and enforce his warped, ideologically distorted agenda. This war on science has lost us more than 50,000 Floridians. This insanity must stop.

“I call upon the Governor to set aside his political ambitions for once and listen to the experts. Follow the science and save lives, Governor DeSantis. Your job is to look out for the health and welfare of the people of our state, not to be in perennial campaign mode or to cynically coddle a radical yet politically convenient group of voters within your own party.”

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Florida Democrats believe in effective and efficient government that prioritizes quality education, affordable health care, and an economy in which anyone who works hard can succeed.

Most importantly, we believe that we are stronger together. We believe the fundamental American promise — that you can go as far as your own hard work will take you — should shine brightest in Florida.

That is why we champion the middle class and cherish the principle that all Floridians should have the opportunity to work hard and succeed. That is why we will never stop fighting for better public schools, because education is the surest path to a better life for millions.

From standing for affordable health care and better schools to fighting for civil rights and access to the ballot box, Florida Democrats are leading every day to move our state forward.

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