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The Florida Senate

Senator Book, District 35 — Press Release


October 24, 2023

CONTACT: Sean LeHockey, 954-424-6674

Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book Introduces Pro-Choice Legislative Package to Protect Women

Tallahassee, FL —

As our state awaits the Florida Supreme Court’s decision on the constitutionality of dangerous abortion bans, Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book has introduced a pro-choice legislative package aimed at safeguarding women's rights and reproductive freedom. SB 256, entitled Pregnancy Support & Wellness Services, focuses on regulating fake reproductive health clinics called crisis pregnancy centers — exposing deceptive practices in these state-funded anti-abortion facilities that exploit women without accountability. SB 254, entitled Picketing or Protesting in or Near Health Care Facilities, proposes to make it illegal to protest within 150 feet from a health care facility offering reproductive health care, also prohibiting interference with health care providers or their patients within these facilities. 


"Women deserve access to legitimate and trusted reproductive healthcare services, and the freedom to safely receive care without fear of misinformation, harassment, or harm," says Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book. "It's long past time for Florida to prioritize women's health, protect the safety of doctors and patients, and ensure that public funds are directed toward accurate and accountable healthcare services.”


“Our state claims to be a beacon of freedom, but abortion bans, healthcare restrictions, and the funneling $25 million annually into fake clinics that peddle anti-abortion propaganda infringe upon those principles,” Book continues. “Until women are free to make their own choices about reproductive health, our state is not truly free.”


Crisis pregnancy centers in Florida — the focus of SB 256 – masquerade as medical facilities and pressure women toward parenting or adoption while actively discouraging contraceptive use and spreading disinformation about abortion, including the disgusting and unverified claim that abortion causes cancer. Shockingly, these medical service providers are not required to be licensed or inspected in Florida, and they enjoy exemption from compliance with HIPAA, the federal patient privacy law. 


“In order to ensure the well-being and autonomy of women in vulnerable situations, this bill provides transparency and oversight to the state’s unregulated pregnancy crisis centers, ensuring that women receive medically accurate information and comprehensive support," says Representative Skidmore, who is sponsoring SB 256’s companion in the Florida House.


Last month, Leader Book filed a bill ensuring women will not be criminally prosecuted for receiving wanted abortion care, following comments made by Governor DeSantis claiming only health care providers could be jailed under Florida’s dangerous abortion bans. She has long been a strong voice for women and girls in Florida, arguing on the Senate floor last year about the dangerous consequences of abortion bans for women in her own district who almost died following miscarriages of wanted pregnancies.