Miami Beach City Commission to vote on resolution to “protect and promote” reproductive rights

Pro-choice protesters outside the U.S. Supreme Court last summer. NBC News screenshot

Saying that they want to send a clear message to lawmakers in Tallahassee that communities in Florida oppose efforts to restrict abortion, the Miami Beach City Commission is poised to vote on a resolution Wednesday which will invite other Florida cities to join them in “safeguarding and promoting access to reproductive healthcare and abortion rights.”

The measure also encourages other municipalities to “pass resolutions urging the Florida Legislature…to protect and promote and reproductive healthcare and abortion rights, instead of restricting them.”

The measure comes after several states this year passed bills restricting a woman’s right to choose to end a pregnancy. In all, more than 350 pieces of legislation to restrict abortion access have been introduced around the country, according to the Guttmacher Institute.

Nine different states passed some form of abortion ban this year, many of them so-called fetal “heartbeat” bills that would ban abortions as soon as a fetal heartbeat an be detected, usually at around six weeks of pregnancy. Courts have blocked such laws from going into effect.

No state has gone further to restrict abortion rights than Alabama, where Republican Gov. Kay Ivey signed a law in May that makes it a felony for Alabama doctors to perform (or attempt to perform) an abortion, including in cases of rape or incest. The only exception made under the law is  in cases where the life of the mother is endangered.

In Missouri, Republican Governor Mike Parson signed a law in May banning abortion in the state at the eight-week mark in a pregnancy.

None of these laws have been enacted.

The  Florida Legislature failed to pass any bills restricting abortion access last spring. A bill that would require  minors to get notarized, written consent from a parent or legal guardian before getting an abortion didn’t pass, and neither did a bill which aimed to ban abortion if a doctor could detect a fetal heartbeat.

Mitch Perry
Mitch Perry has spent the past 18 years covering news and politics in the Sunshine State, most recently with FloridaPolitics.com. He worked for five years as the political editor of Creative Loafing in Tampa, and before that he was the assistant news director at WMNF radio, where he served as creator/anchor/producer of the hour-long WMNF Evening News. A San Francisco native, Mitch began his career at KPFA Radio in Berkeley in the 1990's.

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