A Not So Sunny Outlook for Women in Florida
In Florida today, many citizens are heading to the polls to cast their ballot in the Republican presidential primary. But there’s more than just 50 delegates at stake. Access to affordable, reliable, and comprehensive health care is on the line.
As the candidates continue to outdo one another in the race to see who can be the worst for women, we decided to recap exactly why women are watching in Florida.
Florida saw an unprecedented number of attacks on women’s health in 2011. With unemployment at 10 percent and one of the highest foreclosure rates in the country, Florida’s legislature filed 18 anti-choice bills, leading to more than two months of legislative debates on abortion restrictions, and four bills passed into law. In 2012, it seems nothing much has changed — the Florida legislature is already scheduled to see 10 new bills designed to further restrict women’s access to health care.
In a state that has the second highest number of women/girls living with AIDS in the country and nearly a quarter of a million unintended pregnancies, the one thing they can’t afford is restricted access to affordable health care.
The statistics are grim:
- There are nearly two million women living in Florida without health insurance, with nearly two million women in need of contraceptive supplies and services.
- 69,000 of the nearly quarter of a million unintended pregnancies result in publicly funded births — ultimately leaving the public to foot a $641.5 million bill.
- Out of all 50 states, Florida is 12th highest in the number of teen pregnancies, and 19 percent of all teen births are repeat births.
It’s clear that the demand for health care is critical. Yet, these anti-choice politicians and legislators seem to think supporting an anti-women’s health agenda, (which would include shutting down more than 24 health centers across the state) is an appropriate idea. These are the candidates women are forced to choose among? Not if we can help it.
Sign the pledge today and join the thousands of women and men who have already promised to protect women’s health when they head to the polls this year. In Florida women are not only watching, they are voting.