Rick Scott has supported abortion bans, voted against protecting birth control and IVF

Rick Scott has supported abortion bans, voted against protecting birth control and IVF

Photo by Anna Rose Layden/Getty Images

By Giselle Balido

June 26, 2024

As the fight to enshrine abortion in the state Constitution intensifies, Sen. Rick Scott has emerged as one of the biggest opponents of reproductive rights.

Two years after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade – the 1973 ruling that gave women the constitutional right to an abortion – Florida Democrats are calling out Florida Senator Rick Scott for what they call his extreme attack on women’s reproductive rights. 

In May, a 6-week abortion went into effect in Florida, one that pro-choice advocates say that not only infringes on women’s reproductive choices, but also puts their lives in danger by delaying potentially life-saving medical treatment. 

The state’s new ban, which was signed into law by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in 2023, has led to growing scrutiny of other Republicans and their stances on reproductive rights. In Scott’s case, it’s also become a key issue in his reelection campaign this year.

“Extreme Republicans have launched a full-on attack against a woman’s right and freedoms. And, of course, Rick Scott has led this attack,” Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, the Democratic frontrunner to face Scott in November, said during a recent press conference in Ft. Lauderdale. 

Mucarsel-Powell pointed out that in 2020 Scott cosponsored a national abortion ban and later gave his full support to Florida’s 6-week abortion ban “that will only increase rates of maternal mortality and violence against women.” 

RELATED: Anna Paulina Luna’s history of opposing abortion rights

She also expressed concern that Scott and other Republicans won’t stop at banning abortion. “They’ll attack access to contraception and in vitro fertilization (IVF), too.” 

Scott has said that he will protect IVF, adding that his own daughter is using it to plan her family, but he recently voted against advancing the Right to IVF Act in the Senate.

A record that speaks for itself

The rest of Scott’s record is also littered with votes and remarks that are hostile to reproductive rights.

  • In 2011, while running for governor, Scott called for the overturning of Roe v Wade.
  • That same year, the newly-elected governor signed legislation forcing patients to undergo an ultrasound – which was deemed medically unnecessary – before accessing abortion care.
  • In 2012, Scott supported a lawsuit to overturn the Affordable Care Act’s rule that required insurance plans to cover birth control. 
  • In 2015, Scott signed legislation mandating a 24-hour waiting period before patients could receive abortion care.
  • In 2016, Scott signed TRAP law legislation that created medically unnecessary regulations for abortion clinics with the goal of forcing them to shut down.
  • In 2020, Sen. Scott co-sponsored and voted for a national abortion ban.
  • In 2022, he seemed open to a federal abortion ban.
  • In 2023, Scott openly expressed his support for Florida’s extreme abortion ban.
  • In 2024, Scott reiterated his support for Florida’s extreme abortion ban, voted against the Right to Contraception Act, and voted against the Right to IVF Act.

 

Reproductive rights are on the ballot in November

The races for president and Senate are not the only decisive contests that will take place in November. In April, the Florida Supreme Court approved a ballot measure for the November ballot that will let voters decide whether they want to enshrine access to abortion until viability (around 24 weeks of pregnancy) in the state constitution. 

Speaking on behalf of Floridians Protecting Freedom, the sponsors of the abortion amendment, Lauren Brenzel said that politicians should not be involved with the process of trying to dictate what’s best for medical care.” 

And it seems that most Floridians agree. One early poll by the Florida Chamber of Commerce showed 61% support for Amendment 4. The amendment must win at least 60% of the vote to secure passage.

RELATED: Florida’s abortion restrictions had devastating consequences for this mother

Author

  • Giselle Balido

    Giselle is Floricua's political correspondent. She writes about the economy, environmental and social justice, and all things Latino. A published author, Giselle was born in Havana and grew up in New Jersey and Miami. She is passionate about equality, books, and cats.

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