Late Monday night, Politico leaked a draft U.S. Supreme Court ruling that strikes down Roe v. Wade.
On Tuesday afternoon, hundreds of people in Tallahassee gathered in Tallahassee to rally in support of reproductive rights and oppose the potential Supreme Court ruling. City Commissioners Jack Porter, Jeremy Matlow, and County Commissioner Rick Minor were in attendance, who brought his two daughters to the rally along with him.
On Thursday, City Commission candidate David Bellamy appeared on Steve Stewart’s Above the Fold on Real Talk 93.3 and was asked by Stewart about his position on the abortion resolution, as well as the practice of the Commission to issue proclamations about larger political issues on the state, or national level.
“When they went over that proclamation, I thought, great, we must have fixed the crime problem. Because they spent 3-4 hours on that night, and it was the longest agenda item on that entire night, over something that we really didn’t have control over. Regardless of how emotional we feel on either side,” Bellamy said before talking more broadly about the role of the city government in issuing proclamations about other national issues.
“We need to focus on what we can fix.” Bellamy said, speaking more broadly to state and national issues.
” I don’t remember hearing this, who was conservative, who was liberal,” Bellamy said, who spoke about how he believed that this was a new phenomenon.
The city commission has weighed into topics such as opposing redistricting as well over the past year, and 2021’s HB1, a bill which would give law enforcement a tool to more quickly arrest protestors that they believe may be planning violence, but has been widely criticized by civil rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union.
Floridians for Reproductive Freedom, an organization dedicated to protecting women’s reproductive rights, “sees many opportunities for proactive advancements and support at the local level for control over our bodies, our families, and our life’s path.”
They issued a lengthy explanation of their political and policy logic behind pursuing local resolutions in Florida around reproductive rights, which is included below in full.
“The opposition is working aggressively and systematically to pass anti-abortion laws at the state level in hopes that the newly conservative Supreme Court will uphold them. Here in Florida, the Legislature has attempted to pass many restrictive laws to impede access to abortion. This includes targeted regulation of abortion providers, otherwise known as TRAP laws, that are medically unnecessary and pose a significant burden on abortion providers, and even an all-out abortion ban. In 2020, a bill requiring parental consent for minor to obtain an abortion was passed, which further restricts youth’s access to abortion.
Ideological anti-abortion restrictions out of Tallahassee or Washington become reality on the local level, pushing reproductive health care, such as abortion, out of reach for people already facing many barriers: young people, people of color, people with disabilities, people with low incomes, immigrants of all statuses, and people who live in rural areas. The impact is real for our neighbors, our communities and our families.
Amid the continued onslaught against reproductive health care, many cities have recognized both their responsibility and ability to advance reproductive freedom. Local leaders can make clear that they stand on the side of reproductive freedom and pursue proactive policies to expand access in our communities.
Local government entities can support reproductive health by declaring a firm commitment to reproductive freedom. Municipalities and counties across the country are taking action to protect abortion rights, reproductive health care, and individual’s rights to make reproductive decisions about their own bodies. City and county governments across the country are engaging in a national countermovement to protect and advance reproductive health, rights, and justice. Such a step declares that a community values access to compressive reproductive health care and fights back against pervasive abortion stigma.
Working on such policies can make communities bright spots for reproductive health and rights — even in a place like Florida with our hostile state government. Local governmental actions are not only important for their residents but reverberate beyond their borders. We know that in Florida, our cities are where most people access abortion care, and many access the full range of reproductive health care.
Progress starts at the local level. Now is the time for cities and counties to do everything they can to protect residents against harmful actions by anti-abortion lawmakers at the state and federal levels.
The FRF Local Campaigns Work Group is committed to working with Florida communities to ensure everyone has access to respectful, quality, and affordable reproductive health care, including abortion.”
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This candidate puts a political slant according to what group he is speaking with. If he’s with conservatives he takes the conservative viewpoint and if he’s with liberals he takes the liberal viewpoint. When he should say something he says nothing.
I also believe this candidate picked the wrong race to run in. Too many voters appreciate City Commissioner Jeremy Matlow’s questioning the status quo.
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