The Danger Ahead: Florida's 6-Week Abortion Ban and Public Health

The Danger Ahead: Florida’s 6-Week Abortion Ban and Public Health

Physicians are getting ready for Florida’s six-week abortion ban, which goes into force on May 1.

Proponents of the prohibition claim that hundreds of lives will be saved. Some organizations, however, are concerned that when the policy goes into action in a few weeks, it may lead to a public health crisis.

“There will be a public health emergency,” Florida Planned Parenthood’s Laura Goodhue predicted. According to Goodhue, the prohibition will severely restrict access to abortion.

“Unfortunately, they’re still going to be a lot of people who need abortion care after six weeks, which is before most people even know that they’re pregnant,” she stated.

The six-week moratorium, according to Florida House Speaker Rep. Paul Renner, is a compromise.

“We begin when a child has a heartbeat. We also have broad exceptions for rape, incest human trafficking, the life of the mother, fetal abnormalities, so it’s a compromise that I think addresses where many Floridians are,” Renner stated.

Florida’s policies affects the entire country. Based on data, it may be observed that women visit the state for abortions because the present 15-week prohibition is really less stringent than laws in nearby states.

That tendency is anticipated to change once the new law goes into force.

According to Isaac Maddow-Zimet, a Data Scientist at the Guttmacher Institute and the lead researcher on a study that counts the number of people who cross state borders and have abortions each month in each state, “around 9,000 people traveled from out of state to Florida for abortion care. Once the ban does go into effect, providers will have to scramble in order to be able to scale up to provide care to a lot more people in a much more narrow window.”

Planned Parenthood and other clinics declare that they will abide by the law. Their main goal will be to assist women in locating alternatives in places like Virginia and North Carolina that have less stringent laws.

“Now they have to go to another state, when this is already been like a really traumatizing experience. We’re going to do the same patient care navigation, with travel funds, but it’s not going to be easy,” Goodhue stated.

On the vote in November is a less stringent abortion law that prohibits abortions performed before viability, or the point at which a pregnancy may survive outside the womb. According to Goodhue, the initiative would take effect in January if voters approve it.

“It’s the only policy option we have left,” she stated.