Abortion Debate Erupts Over Proposed Pregnancy Resource Website

Abortion Debate Erupts Over Proposed Pregnancy Resource Website

A bill creating a pregnancy resource website faced backlash over abortion and the Department of Health's abilities

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
March 5, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, FL—The abortion debate continues to run rampant through the halls of the Florida Capitol, most recently winding its way into a bill compiling state-sanctioned pregnancy resources into a website for expectant mothers.

"It is an online hub to display the wraparound services available in Florida that support women and families throughout pregnancy and parenting," bill sponsor Republican Sen. Erin Grall said on the Senate Floor Tuesday, explaining the current difficulty of finding various pregnancy information.

The bill appropriates nearly $500,000 to the Department of Health to create and maintain the website, including resources for prenatal care, maternal health services, and social services.

Grall, who sponsored last year's six-week abortion ban, faced vehement opposition from Democrats. They claimed her bill would create an anti-abortion advocacy hub and espouse medically inaccurate information, believing this would advance a pro-life agenda.

"We're going to be putting together a website that is going to be an alternative to abortions, even though abortions are legal and safe here in the state of Florida," Sen. Lori Berman said, concerned about the website's inclusion of Crisis Pregnancy Centers.

These clinics, which can be operated by unlicensed workers, have been opposed by abortion advocates in the past, calling them "fake clinics" with a "harmful agenda".

Sen. Geraldine Thompson explained her lack of confidence in the Department of Health's presence in the bill, citing their handling of South Florida's measles outbreak. "We have had from the Department of Health very confusing directions regarding the need for vaccines. For example, we have a measles outbreak..and from the Department of Health what we hear in terms of assisting people to make decisions, is to do what you feel is right,"

"I have no faith in the Department of Health," she added.

In her close on the bill, Sen. Grall shot back at the abortion talks that erupted over her bill, saying, "I always find it fascinating that everything that we talked about turns into abortion when we're here to talk about pregnancy and parenting and all of the services that we provide as a state,"

"I just think the most liberal person woman who's pregnant next to the most conservative woman who's pregnant, the facts are still the same about the development of that child."

The bill passed the Senate Floor down party lines. If passed on the House Floor, it will go to the Governor to be signed into law.

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Liv Caputo

Liv Caputo

Livia Caputo is a senior at Florida State University, working on a major in Criminology, and a triple minor in Psychology, Communications, and German. She has been working on a journalism career for the past year, and hopes to become a successful reporter after graduation. Her work has been cited in Fox News, the New York Post, and the Daily Mail

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