Sabrina Bousbar: Florida women are waking up with fewer rights today

Sabrina Bousbar

By Sabrina Bousbar

May 1, 2024

Sabrina Bousbar, who is running for Congress in November against Republican incumbent Anna Paulina Luna, calls Florida’s 6-week abortion ban “a continued assault on access to vital healthcare.”

As a young Latina, I relied on organizations like Planned Parenthood as my healthcare option for annual exams and oral contraceptives to ease excruciating menstrual cramping. Without their non-judgmental, low-cost services, I wouldn’t have had access to this essential care. Similarly, it is often the only affordable option for basic reproductive healthcare like birth control, cancer screenings, and STD testing for so many. I remain grateful for Planned Parenthood as they provide important education and empower patients to take control of their reproductive health.

That is a big reason why I find the continued assault on access to vital healthcare all the more disturbing. This week, Florida’s new six-week abortion ban goes into effect – restricting access to reproductive care for millions of women. The law is cruel by design and biologically nonsensical, falling within a timetable before many women even realize they are pregnant.

From the Panhandle to the Keys, healthcare providers note that Florida has served as a lifeline for women beyond the state line. The extreme law creates a health crisis for not only those in Florida but women across the Southeast as nearly every state in the region has banned or restricted abortion following the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade in 2022.

RELATED: DeSantis’ 6-week abortion ban goes into effect

And as with most health disparities, it is young women, low-income women, and women of color who stand to be disproportionately harmed. Financial and systemic barriers to healthcare mean these women are more likely to discover a pregnancy later. By the time they do, Florida’s new law will have already eliminated their right to bodily autonomy.

Unfortunately, this blatant attack on our rights and freedoms is just one arrow in the right wing’s quiver. The same extreme politicians that have promoted such draconian laws have made it clear that they will stop at nothing to ban abortion nationally. They want to put family planning like IVF on the chopping block; ban mifepristone, a safe and effective FDA-approved medication; and even criminalize access to contraception.

Government does not belong in the bedroom or the doctor’s office. We don’t let politicians into the dermatologist or cardiologist’s office – why should reproductive care be treated any differently? Personal medical decisions belong between a patient and their provider. People should have the opportunity and privacy to get the care they need when they need it and do what is right for them and their families.

For self-described extremists like Anna Paulina Luna, it isn’t about protecting life – it’s a blatant power grab, attempt to control women’s bodies, and attack on lifesaving healthcare. If it was about “life” there would be a policy reprioritization of high-quality prenatal care, paid maternity leave, affordable childcare, or any number of other critical supports women and families need to ensure our kids start their lives with a solid foundation.

RELATED: Biden attacks GOP abortion bans, vows to restore Roe during State of the Union

As I speak with voters in my community, people are scared. Neighbors want to know when it ends. What essential medical care will be ripped away next? Are they coming for contraception and cancer screenings after this? How are we going to be able to raise our kids and future generations in this environment?

As someone who has always wanted a family, this hits close to home. It’s impossible to not weigh these challenges as a young woman. That’s why I’m running for Congress against Luna – to make sure my generation and future generations don’t feel this burden and have the freedom to decide if, when, and how they want to start or grow a family.

Leaders have a responsibility to empower the people they serve, not further obstruct their paths to opportunity. If I have the good fortune to serve, I will fight tooth and nail to restore our fundamental freedom to make decisions about our own bodies.

Until then, our team is making clear the important stakes of this fall’s election and organizing in our community alongside the Yes on 4, Floridians Protecting Freedom campaign because every Floridian deserves the freedom to make personal medical decisions, including about abortion, free from government intrusion.

 

Author

  • Sabrina Bousbar

    Sabrina Bousbar is a public servant, preparedness and recovery expert, and organizer who has dedicated her life to bringing people together to solve problems. Now, she is running for Congress in Florida’s 13th District. If successful, Sabrina will be the country’s first female Gen Z member of Congress.

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