Forget “jobs, jobs, jobs.” In the Florida House, it’s “abortion, abortion, abortion.”
From the in-box:
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Representative Scott Randolph (D-Orlando) issued the following remarks regarding the passage of six anti-choice bills in the Florida House today:
“Each of these bills chips away at women’s rights in Florida. Little-by-little, piece-by-piece, this legislature intends to completely outlaw abortion in this state,” said Representative Randolph.
“But make no mistake, HJR 1179 is a backdoor attempt to send women back to back alleys. By specifically attaching a woman’s right to that of those contained in the U.S. Constitution, the majority is waiting with baited breath for the Roberts Court to return the issues of a right to privacy back to the states. When that happens, the right to choose will automatically be extinguished in the state of Florida.”
“By restricting insurance coverage for pregnant women, the majority in this legislature has knowingly put these individuals in the dangerous position of having to make a very difficult choice. The repercussions of this Legislature’s actions here today will haunt the state of Florida for many years to come.”
The bills attracted at least one Democratic sponsor, and that touched off a heated floor fight between Randolph and Miami Rep. Daphne Campbell:
Democratic Rep. Scott Randolph was so upset with colleague Daphne Campbell for backing a GOP abortion bill that he told her he’d get an opponent to unseat her in two years.
Randolph also flung some of her papers at her and threw her pen in the trash, according to Campbell and other lawmakers who witnessed the outburst. They said Campbell, D-Miami, threw some items back at him.
“You are a traitor,” Randolph reportedly said. “I swear, you will not be re-elected. I will get an opponent.”
Campbell’s retort: “You have no right. God put me here.”
Hours later, by coincidence, Miami resident Matthew Tisdol, 27, announced he would run against Campbell. Tisdol said he hadn’t talked to Randolph.
The Democrats leader, Ron Saunders, said he saw the incident and urged Randolph and Campbell to calm down.
“They were flinging things at each other and I said, ‘Hey, guys, this isn’t high school.’ You need to stop.”
Saunders said he retrieved Campbell’s wooden pen from the trash can and gave it back to her.
“It was on Scott’s desk, so he threw it away,” Saunders said.
Campbell had a rough day in the Florida House. In the morning, Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz tweeted that she was crazy.
“My bill sponsor is Daphne Campbell” is #LegislativeDictionary for “my idea is nuttier than a bag of squires,” Gaetz Tweeted, apologizing later that he meant to say “squirrels” instead of squires. He removed the Tweet and apologized to Campbell, who then went on to support the Republican bill against abortion.
Campbell quoted the Bible and reminded the members “Thou shalt not kill.”
The Florida House has passed the following bills just this week, most of which deal in one way or another with abortion:
HB 501: Directs proceeds from sales of “Choose Life” license plates to Choose Life Inc. to provide services to pregnant women. (Proceeds currently go to counties.)
HB 1179: Proposes a constitutional amendment to prohibit public funding of abortion.
HB 97: Prohibits health care plans created through the federal health care law from offering abortion coverage.
HB 1247: Tightens requirements for parental notification when a minor seeks an abortion.
HB 1127: Requires a woman to receive an ultrasound before undergoing an abortion and be offered the opportunity to review the results.
HB 1397: Expands prohibition on third-trimester abortions to include a ban if the fetus is viable.
HB 155: Limits instances when doctors can ask patients if they own firearms. (Passed 88-30.)
HB 45: Prohibits local governments from regulating firearms. (Passed 85-33.)
HB 1145: Frees dog track owners from a requirement that they hold a certain number of live races each year to maintain licenses for a casino or card room. (Passed 86-31.)
HB 1471: Proposes a constitutional amendment to allow public funding of religious organizations.
And if any of these bills gets challenged (assuming the GOP hasn’t finished packing the state Supreme Court by then) and it goes further than the state, to the U.S. Supreme Court, to Randolph’s point, the GOPers likely hope the Roberts court will use the opportunity to strike down Roe v. Wade, in which case Florida would become one of perhaps dozens of likely to outlaw abortion outright, either via an automatic “trigger” — or through legislation that would be sure the pass. The bottom line:
The Political Reality
1. Within the first 60 days, trigger bans take effect. Numerous states have abortion bans already on the books that could take effect automatically within 45 to 60 days, based only on the attorney general’s finding that Roe v. Wade has been overturned. All of these states would immediately close down any and all abortion clinics.
2. Within the first two years, abortion is illegal in more than half of the country. Legislatures in socially conservative states that have not already banned abortion would do so. After banning abortion, these states would aim to write abortion bans into their constitutions by referendum in an effort by legislators to draw socially conservative voters to the polls. In socially conservative states, from South Carolina in the east to Kansas in the west, abortion would be easily banned. In socially progressive states, such as California and most of New England, it would remain legal. Closely divided states, such as North Carolina and Ohio, would be political battlegrounds as the question of whether or not to ban abortion would become the defining issue of the legislative year–every legislative year.
Not much would change for women in New York or Vermont or Massachusetts. But in states where abortion rights were overturned:
…abortion will move from the clinic to the bedroom. In most Latin American countries, abortion is illegal with a prison sentence of up to 30 years for women who have abortions–but there are still about four times as many abortions in Latin America as there are in the United States. Why? Because women who can’t have abortions at clinics are still perfectly capable of shelling out two dollars for a black market abortifacient. And there are many, many abortifacients–ranging from common herbs to mass-produced anti-ulcer drugs. The police can’t keep marijuana off the streets; they would have even less success with abortifacients. Bedroom abortions are much less safe than clinic abortions–approximately 80,000 women die every year from do-it-yourself abortions–but it’s not as if having an abortion is anybody’s idea of a good time to begin with, and many women will still be having abortions regardless of the legal or physical risks. This is why many people who do not personally approve of abortion still strongly identify as pro-choice.