Pembroke Pines, FL – U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23) issued the following statement today after the Florida House of Representatives passed H.B. 1411 on Thursday. Its companion bill, S.B. 1722, already passed all of its committees of reference in the Florida Senate:

“This bill, along with its companion bill in the Senate, S.B. 1722, is loaded with so many medically-unnecessary and dubious provisions that it is difficult to figure out where to begin with my disgust.

“H.B. 1411 and S.B. 1722 redefine the first trimester of pregnancy so that it begins at conception instead of on the date of a woman’s last period. This is an unprecedented intrusion into women’s personal lives, and though I have said it many more times than once, I will say it again – a woman’s decisions about her body are best left between a woman and her doctor, not politicians. For a party that claims to love small government, Republicans certainly have a funny way of showing it.

“The bill adds provisions like requiring doctors who perform second-trimester abortions to have admitting privileges or a transfer arrangement at a nearby hospital – a provision that was just under scrutiny this week in oral arguments at the Supreme Court of the United States in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.

“The bill also adds a host of overly burdensome regulatory requirements on abortion clinics, which will cause fees and costs to skyrocket for their patients and likely cause many women to seek unregulated, unsafe, and unsanitary options.

“This is truly a new low for Florida’s Republican-led Legislature. I am appalled that in the year 2016, we are still fighting for young women in this nation and state to have quality, affordable health care, including unfettered access to comprehensive family planning services, and safe and legal abortion care. Thanks to Florida’s Republicans, my daughters and millions of others across the Sunshine State will instead have their access to health care blocked. It’s truly a sad day in Florida. But I am confident, like so many other intrusive, unconstitutional laws pushed by Republicans, this one will be turned back as well.”