DeSantis Signs Pregnancy Website Law, Dems Worry About Abortion Implications

DeSantis Signs Pregnancy Website Law, Dems Worry About Abortion Implications

DeSantis signed a pregnancy resource bill into law though Democrats worry it will provide anti-abortion information

Liv Caputo
Liv Caputo
May 20, 2024

TALLAHASSEE, FL—Last Friday, Governor Ron DeSantis signed a controversial pregnancy resources bill into law compiling information for expectant mothers into one website—though critics claim the law is part of an anti-abortion agenda.

Sponsored by two leading Republicans—Sen. Erin Grall and Rep. Benny Jacques—HB 415 appropriates nearly $500,000 to the Department of Health to create and maintain a pregnancy resource website, including information on prenatal care, maternal health services, and social services.

"It is an online hub to display the wraparound services available in Florida that support women and families throughout pregnancy and parenting," said Grall during the session, explaining the current difficulty of finding various pregnancy information.

Democrats had opposed the bill, citing concerns that the website would include Crisis Pregnancy Centers as a resource. These clinics, which can be operated by unlicensed workers, have been called "fake clinics" with a "harmful agenda" by abortion advocates.

Grall, who was the sponsor of Florida's recently enacted six-week abortion ban, maintained that her website has nothing to do with the abortion debate, but simply deals with helping expectant families.

"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 had said during the session.

Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book agreed, pointing to the fact that she had proposed two bills early in the session attempting to regulate these clinics. Neither was ever scheduled for a committee meeting.

Crisis Pregnancy Centers, established in 2005 under Governor Jeb Bush, are managed by the Florida Pregnancy Care Network, which was co-founded by anti-abortion activist and Tampa OB-GYN Rufus Armstrong.

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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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