Florida Dems blast GOP lawmakers for ‘inherent hypocrisy’ in new ad

Democratic lawmakers in Florida vow to fight for abortion access and block attempts to pass a law similar to Texas' extreme measure, with the help of ads that blast GOP lawmakers for alleged “inherent hypocrisy" when it comes to people's freedom to make decision about their health.

This week, the Florida Democratic Party released a YouTube video entitled “My Body, My Choice," featuring Florida Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book, who represents part of Broward County in the Senate. She said in the video that “any attempt to do what has been done in Texas is a complete, all out assault on women's rights."

“And we will do everything in our power to stop this from happening," said Book.

The Texas law targets abortions at the point when doctors detect a “fetal heartbeat" at roughly six weeks' gestational age. But that's a highly contested point. Under the new law, private citizens are also allowed to sue people involved in providing abortion access to women, offering $10,000 for a successful suit.

Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has been vocal in the past about legislation that restricts abortions, had expressed interest in the Texas bill during a press conference but didn't necessarily pledge to support it.

Meanwhile, a DeSantis spokeswoman said the Republican governor has expressed concerns about the portion of the law dealing with lawsuits, according to a report from The Hill.

“Gov. DeSantis doesn't want to turn private citizens against each other," said spokeswoman Christina Pushaw, as reported by The Hill.

Florida Phoenix is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Florida Phoenix maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Diane Rado for questions: info@floridaphoenix.com. Follow Florida Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter.

Parents of disabled children in Florida: 'We need action right now' on mask mandates

Two Florida parents who filed a federal lawsuit against Gov. Ron DeSantis' ban on mask mandates in public schools argued Monday that the governor's mask-optional policies put their kids, who have serious medical conditions already, at greater risk from COVID-19.

This article was originally published at Florida Phoenix

Plaintiffs' attorney Matthew Dietz said during a Zoom news conference that “schools are obligated to provide an environment in which kids with disabilities can safely be educated in an integrated environment."

Additional families in Hillsborough and Pasco counties have joined the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Miami, which focuses on education rights of students with disabilities. Trial opened Monday in a separate lawsuit filed in state court raising related claims.

“What this case is for these parents is what their rights are," said Dietz. “Their rights under the American Disability Act guarantee that their children are entitled to go to school, to be safe in school."

U.S. Rep Charlie Crist, a Democratic candidate for governor, appeared during the news conference to criticize DeSantis. “The governor doesn't care about anyone but himself and what's best for him," he said.

At least seven school districts have defied DeSantis' order by imposing mask mandates, which state officials insist violate Florida law. And the Florida Board of Education announced a plan to begin withholding funds from districts in Alachua and Broward counties over its mask mandates for schoolchildren.

Robyn McCarthy, who has a 6-year-old son with asthma, believes schools should offer online learning and hybrid models with both virtual and in-person classes to accommodate children with disabilities.

“We need action right now; we need mitigation measures," McCarthy said during the press conference. “I need virtual options on the table. I'm begging you to help us get this virtual option."

Another parent, Jamie Kinder, has a 9-year-old daughter who is immunocompromised.

“She just wants adults to help her access education and that means putting masks on everybody," Kinder said.

“This governor does not care or seem to understand that parents like the McCarthys and the Kinders with children with disabilities cannot afford to take any sort of risk when it comes to the health of their kids," Crist said.


Florida Phoenix is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Florida Phoenix maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Diane Rado for questions: info@floridaphoenix.com. Follow Florida Phoenix on Facebook and Twitter.

Don't Sit on the Sidelines of History. Join Raw Story Investigates and Go Ad-Free. Support Honest Journalism.