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RECAP: Abortion in Florida

Staff | Published on 5/24/2024

The League believes in the power of women to create a more perfect democracy, and we believe protection for reproductive health decisions is a democracy issue. Without the ability to make reproductive decisions for one’s own body, women and those who can become pregnant cannot participate equally in our democracy. This harm will exacerbate societal inequalities and fall disproportionately on people of color and low-income communities already facing egregious obstacles to health care.

The court has endorsed the language of a proposed state constitutional amendment, known as Amendment 4, which seeks to safeguard the right to abortion in Florida. This amendment is scheduled to appear on the ballot this November, potentially reversing both bans if approved by at least 60% of voters.

These recent rulings position Florida as one of the most restrictive states in terms of abortion access, sparking a contentious debate over reproductive rights in the Sunshine State, particularly in the upcoming presidential election. With Florida now considered a pivotal battleground, the presidential campaigns view the issue of abortion rights as a mobilizing force among voters.

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Taylor Aguilera

Taylor Aguilera is the statewide organizing director for Floridians Protecting Freedom, the coalition behind the amendment to limit government interference with abortion, which will appear on Florida ballots as amendment 4 this November. Taylor was raised in Polk County. She studied political science at Hillsborough Community College. Her career has focused on supporting issues-based advocacy and electoral campaigns in Florida and Georgia. Prior to her organizing career, she worked in the criminal justice system as a paralegal with the public defender’s office, where she saw firsthand the need for systematic change in her community. That moved her to organize and take action for a better Florida.

Guerdy Remy (was unable to attend)

Guerdy Remy is a licensed nurse with a Haitian-American background. She came to the United States when she was 5 and grew up in New York City before moving to Seminole County in 2004. She also is board president of the Florida Access Network, state board

member of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida, chair of the State Campaign Committee and vice president of the Central Florida Democratic Progressive Caucus.

As the vice president of the Seminole County Democratic Veterans Caucus, she is focused on veterans’ increasing unhoused crisis and lack of mental health solutions and assistance. She is currently working as an admissions/medication nurse at a local hospital. Guerdy earned an associate degree from Ulster County BOCES School of Practical Nursing and earned a degree in health service administration from Keiser University.

Kait Thomson

Kait Thomson (they/them) is the senior director of public affairs at Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida. They hold over a decade of experience in nonprofit and campaign leadership. Hailing from “the sticks,” Kait grew their political chops in New Hampshire’s “First in the Nation” presidential primaries and went on to build multi-state advocacy programs up and down the East Coast with organizations such as NARAL Pro-Choice America and They have called Florida home since 2021 and are fired up and ready to win Yes on 4.

Amy Weintraub

Amy Weintraub is a seasoned, award-winning organizer who has worked most of her adult life identifying, educating and activating citizens toward social justice. She is the Reproductive Rights Program Director at Progress Florida. She is the former chair of the League of Women Voters of Florida’s Reproductive Health and Justice Team and serves as the membership chair of the League of Women Voters of the St. Petersburg Area. She also is a leader with the statewide Floridians for Reproductive Freedom coalition. 

Prior to moving to Florida in 2015, Amy lived in her home state of West Virginia where she led efforts within organizations such as WV FREE (West Virginia Focus: Reproductive Education and Equality), Covenant House of West Virginia and Planned Parenthood.

Dr. Kathryn Berryman

Dr. Kathryn Berryman is board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, maternal-fetal medicine and obesity medicine. Her training began at the University of Virginia where she was an honored Jefferson Scholar, followed by medical school at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and then residency and fellowship at The Ohio State University. She joined the AdventHealth team during COVID, after a distinguished career in the military, where she served as a maternal-fetal medicine physician. 

She specializes in complex pregnancy management and prenatal genetic counseling and testing. Caring for women with high-risk pregnancies has driven her passion to support reproductive rights and women’s access to care.
LWVOC Co-President Tiffany Hughes is the owner of KBI Staffing Solutions LLC, a staffing firm focused on economically empowering the community in Orlando's Historic Parramore. She is a community advocate, education advocate, and mentor for high school students with the Take Stock in Children Program. Tiffany is also the 25th President of the Orange County, FL branch of the NAACP, the youngest in their history, and a graduate of Leadership Orlando Class 100 and NAACP 2019 NextGen. She has served on Orange County and City of Orlando boards, is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated is a steward at Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church in Eatonville, FL. Tiffany has a Master's degree from Full Sail University, a certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell University, and was awarded as a 2023 Woman Who Mean Business honoree and named an Orlando Business Journal 40 under 40 honoree in 2021.

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Abortion in Florida: On the Ballot and Off Limits
By Judi Hayes
The League of Women Voters of Orange County hosted a May 8 discussion on the hottest of
topics — abortion, and the strict 6-week ban that went into effect in Florida this month. And
while the very word once would have been whispered in hushed tones, in 2024 we are throwing
open the window and shouting it out loud.
A sold-out crowd of attendees of all ages and genders met with various advocacy groups,
including Florida Access Network and Floridians Protecting Freedom (YES ON 4 this
November), and heard from a powerhouse panel of experts about what collective action WE can
take to take back our rights and limit government intrusion in the most intimate of decisions. 
League president Tiffany Hughes, who works for Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central
Florida, kicked off an information-packed roundtable discussion.
Panelists included Taylor Aguilera, the statewide organizing director for Floridians Protecting
Freedom, the coalition behind the amendment to limit government interference with abortion;
Kait Thomson, the senior director of public affairs at Planned Parenthood of Southwest and
Central Florida, who is also on the executive committee of Floridians Protecting Freedom; Amy
Weintraub, the reproductive rights program director at Progress Florida and former chair of the
League of Women Voters of Florida’s Reproductive Health and Justice Team, and Dr. Kathryn
Berryman, board certified in obstetrics and gynecology, maternal-fetal medicine and obesity
medicine, who specializes in complex pregnancy management and prenatal genetic counseling
and testing. Guerdy Remy, the president of the Florida Access Network state board, was not
able to join the discussion. 
On May 1, a strict 6-week abortion ban went into place in Florida after the Florida Supreme
Court upheld the state’s earlier 15-week abortion ban. Former Florida Supreme Court Chief
Justice Charles Wells adamantly disagreed with the decision during the Q&A session following
the presentation.
The 6-week cutoff falls well before most women know they’re pregnant and imposes additional
hardships — two in-person doctor visits and a 24-hour waiting period. The court decision
effectively rendered abortion inaccessible in the entire southeast United States. The closest
abortion providers after 6 weeks are in Charlotte, North Carolina. As soon as the ban took
effect, providers in Florida saw patients traveling to Washington, D.C., Chicago, and New York
— if they can afford the time off and if they have the money. The majority of abortions are
sought by women who already have children and they find that traveling out of state for an
abortion is almost impossible. 
Dr. Berryman frequently sees patients who are in the 18th-20th weeks of pregnancy when their
anatomy scan reveals anomalies that may warrant additional testing — and the new legislation
makes that problematic by constraining options. These are difficult issues to tackle under ideal
circumstances and finding out that your options are arbitrarily limited can be devastating to
patients, she said. 
Kait Thomson shared a story of a patient who had suffered from preeclampsia during all three of
her previous pregnancies and who found out she was pregnant a fourth time very close to the
date when the new law went into effect. She was able to make the decision she and her family
felt comfortable with, but just 48 hours later, her options would be severely limited — and with
them, her chances for survival. 
The panel also addressed what the audience can do. Organizations like Florida Access Network
(FAN), which help patients travel for abortions, are already stretched thin, and they need money
and volunteers. More discussion about contraception is helpful — long-acting reversible
contraception options are available and accessible. Medication abortion is still obtainable by
mail order and is safe and effective up to 12 weeks. can direct anyone who
needs a medication abortion to where they can find it, and the Massachusetts Access Project
will shield providers from liability in states where access is criminalized. 
Amendment 4 is officially on the ballot this fall, and it needs more than 60 percent approval to
pass. The panelists agreed: we can all do our part by messaging consistently YES ON 4 to limit
government interference in personal healthcare decisions.
Sign up for Amendment 4’s virtual Super Saturday from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Virtual Super Saturday
· Yes On 4 Florida! ( and learn how to reach out to voters already in your network.
Talk to neighbors and friends about the need for YES ON 4.
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2024 Hot Topics Abortion In Florida:On Ballot & Off Limits