The following Letter to the Editor was published in The Daily Sun on July 7, 2022.
Governor DeSantis and his Florida Legislature are no friends of children’s, women’s, or families’ rights and health.
For example, Florida’s Republican leadership continues to reject the ACA Medicaid expansion that would close the eligibility gap for about 425,000 uninsured Floridians. Of those Floridians, 66% are in families with at least one worker, 25% are parents with children at home, and 31% are women of reproductive age.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, Florida’s “costs of expanding would be largely or fully offset by savings in uncompensated care and other areas.”
Recently, DeSantis showed his hypocrisy regarding parental rights by failing to preorder COVID-19 vaccines for the state’s youngest children, denying and delaying many parents the right to make a critical health care choice for their children.
The 15-week abortion ban, which does not include rape or incest exemptions, takes effect soon. What’s next? Will family planning products and services be made illegal? Will miscarriages and still births be investigated as possible crimes? Will women’s mail be searched, or will they be banned from travel across state lines, so they can’t get a legal abortion? Will LBGTQ+ relationships and families be outlawed? Will only Evangelical-approved curricula be allowed in public schools?
If you don’t believe this will get worse, consider that it is rumored that DeSantis plans to call a special legislative session to increase the restrictions on abortion — right after the election. This November, it’s critically important to end the Republican’s one-party control over our health and privacy.
Kay Blue, Punta Gorda
Image Credits: Surrounded by state lawmakers, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) speaks at the state Capitol in Tallahassee on April 30. (Wilfredo Lee/AP)