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Florida Democrats say backlash on IVF decision halts state’s fetal personhood bill

Florida Democrats say backlash on IVF decision halts state’s fetal personhood bill

Following a virtual press conference today highlighting the impact of the recent the Alabama Supreme Court ruling on IVF and failed Republican attempts to enshrine fetal personhood in the legislature, the Florida Democratic Party issued the following statement:

Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried was joined today by Congresswoman Lois Frankel, State Representative Anna V. Eskamani and IVF Parent Jessica Barber Scott to reflect on the major impact of the Alabama Supreme Court decision to suspend IVF in the state, sending shockwaves across the country and halting Florida’s fetal personhood bill in its tracks.

It comes as the Democratic National Committee launched new bilingual billboards in the state today across Miami, Tampa, Orlando and Tallahassee, holding Donald Trump accountable for overturning Roe v. Wade, and asking “is Florida next?” 

On today’s press call, Chair Nikki Fried said, ‘if the Alabama ruling didn’t happen last week, Florida’s fetal personhood bills would likely have passed during legislative session’, acknowledging the advocacy of Democratic lawmakers and advocates who strongly opposed Senate Bill 476, which was temporarily postponed in the Rules committee yesterday.  
Representative Anna V. Eskamani
explained, “nothing’s over until Sine die, nothing is over until the hanky drops,” adding that public backlash over the IVF Alabama decision set an important tone with Republican lawmakers and sent a strong message that banning abortion and limiting a full range of reproductive healthcare is deeply unpopular. 

Congresswoman Lois Frankel highlighted the hypocrisy of so-called ‘family values’ Republicans, who have contradicted themselves over their stance on IVF. “Doesn’t it seem like a contradiction? Extreme Republicans want women to stay pregnant against their will and also prevent women from getting pregnant who want to [be]?” Congresswoman Frankel later announced that next week Congressional Democrats and colleagues will be supporting new legislation to protect IVF nationwide in the face of these recent attacks. 

As she prepares to celebrate the first birthday of her twins conceived through IVF, Jessica Barber Scott reflected on the impact of Florida’s latest attacks on reproductive healthcare, saying, “with legislation that is proposed, we could have been considered criminals through miscarriage, through transferring embryos that didn’t implant before I became pregnant with my twins.”

Her story was a sobering reminder of the consequences of sweeping legislation on Florida’s families. The mother of two closed with a strong message to politicians intent on governing family decisions: “It is between a patient and their medical providers to determine what the best course of action is for them. Not someone sitting in Washington, not someone sitting in Tallahassee, not someone sitting on a court or in a state legislature of any kind. 

The full recording of the virtual press conference is available online.  

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