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Press Release

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, House Democrats Stand Up for Reproductive Rights at FL Field Hearing

FT. LAUDERDALE, FL –– Today, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14) and the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee heard gut-wrenching stories of the impact of the Florida abortion ban during a field hearing led by Democratic Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Co-Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The harms to women and health providers are more apparent now in Florida and across our country since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and states have adopted abortion bans.

“Women are being forced to carry pregnancies in dire situations where doctors advise the best course is an abortion.  Florida is losing doctors, medical students and residents who are fleeing to other states, and the maternal health crisis will worsen due to the abortion ban passed by the GOP-controlled legislature and Gov. Ron DeSantis. It is cruel, it is costly, and it is wrong,” said Rep. Castor. “Make no mistake— MAGA extremists want to criminalize reproductive health care, birth control and fertility services like IVF. Congress must act to supersede these harmful state laws, ensuring that medical decisions are made where they belong: between a provider and a patient, based on high-quality standards of care and without the interference of politicians and extremist judges.”

In Florida, the state’s Supreme Court ruled this week to allow an extreme 6-week abortion ban to go into effect on May 1. In November, the people of Florida will vote on an amendment that could make abortion access a guaranteed right for women across the state. 

Rep. Castor spoke with the witnesses about how the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in the Dobbs ruling and subsequent state restrictions and bans have impacted medical education—including hampering the ability of doctors and other health care providers to be able to provide the best, highest-quality care.

“If medical residents and trainees can’t receive a comprehensive education, including training in abortion care, it will directly affect the life and health of pregnant patients, not only those who are seeking an abortion but those who are experiencing pregnancy-related emergencies and miscarriages,” said Castor.

Watch the full hearing here.

Additional media from today’s hearing is available here.