Diane Roberts: Legislators celebrated Valentine’s Day by working to limit women’s options

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Sunday was Valentine’s Day. And what did those sweethearts in the Legislature give to the ladies of Florida? A swift kick in the ovaries.

Rep. Charles Van Zant’s HB 865 would shut down all abortion clinics, urge the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, and make abortion a felony. Zygotes are citizens, too.

Normally (if that word can be used with regard to Florida government), his pet project would languish unheard and unloved. But this is an election year: HB 865 has 17 co-sponsors, and it’s moving forward.

A hearing brought out the best in Flori-dolts, including one male anti-choicer who linked abortion to the destruction of “white culture” because uppity career chicks push “this agenda of abortion, women outside the home, not having babies.”

Yep, women who refuse to have babies are bringing on the Apocalypse.

Over in the Senate, Kelli Stargel’s trying to shut Planned Parenthood out of managed care networks. SB 1722 would force doctors to have admitting privileges at local hospitals, clinics to spend money on medically unnecessary facilities, and women wanting an abortion to jump through new and increasingly absurd hoops.

Abortion is safer than dental surgery — much safer than childbirth. The clinics Stargel wants to drive out of business are where many poor women get pap smears, mammograms, and HIV tests.

Florida leads the nation in new cases of HIV. Yet the state wants to cut 700 jobs at the Florida Department of Health. Stargel’s piling on, insisting her attack on women’s health and safety will make women healthier and safer.

Republicans hate abortion — we get that. So you’d think they’d be extra keen on birth control. You’d think wrong: they just killed a plan to offer long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) at clinics.

LARCs are highly successful in reducing teen pregnancies and thus reducing abortions. But in Florida LARCs are often administered at Planned Parenthood, so we can’t have that.

We can’t have anything, it seems. The House budget expressly de-funds Planned Parenthood because, you know, baby parts. Said Rep. Larry Ahern, R-Taliban Beach, “We’ve all seen the videos. We know what’s going on. The dirty little secret is out.”

Does this man never pull his head out of the Fox “News” maw long enough to find out what’s actually going on? The “dirty little secret” is neither dirty nor secret. Nobody’s chopping up live babies for spare livers and brains.

A Texas grand jury has indicted the scammers behind the faked tapes. 

But what’s truth when you have all the conviction and passion of rank stupidity? Rep. Ahern is the proud sponsor of a bill (1273) that demands a study of manatee speed zones. If the critters are merely “endangered” instead of “threatened,” then why not let boaters rev up the Chris Craft and roar down Florida’s waterways as Jesus intended?

And who cares if a bill is constitutional or not? If the bill forbidding abortion is passed, it will cost a lot of taxpayer money to defend. But that’s what taxpayer money is for, right? We just paid Rick Scott’s $1.3 million legal fee, why not pony up for those citizen-zygotes?

Otherwise the cash will just be wasted on the environment or education or something.

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