Activists took to social media Wednesday to rail against a proposed law that would further limit women's access to safe abortion and adequate health care.
They were protesting the passage of a bill by the Florida Senate on Wednesday that could be devastating to Planned Parenthood and other reproductive health clinics that perform abortions in the state, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
If the House passes that version of the bill, it would, according to the Times, "block abortion clinics from receiving state money for services like cancer screenings and require their doctors to have privileges at a nearby hospital."
Susan Smith, head of the Democratic Progressive Caucus, changed her Facebook profile photo to a wire coat hanger (representing the dangerous abortion methods that arose in the absence of a legal alternative) after news of the bill's passage.
Lawmakers claim that their support of the bill is about safety — and not about pandering to hard-core conservative primary voters.
“This bill says we’re going to treat abortion clinics the same way that we treat other similarly situated clinics,” said Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, the bill’s sponsor, according to the Times.
Critics say the bill is anything but pro-life, given that it limits women's access to crucial preventative care services.
“If the true aim were life, this measure would not only allow but boost the funding for these clinics that provide prenatal care to mothers and babies and expand affordable health care for Floridians,” said Tampa Sen. Arthenia Joyner, a Democrat.
Others said the bill may cause clinics to close, but would't actually reduce the number of abortions.
“Just because you took everybody’s ashtrays away doesn’t mean they quit smoking,” said Sen. Nancy Detert, a Venice Republican who voted against the bill, according to the Times.
News of the new law quickly spread.
Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Democratic presidential contender, sent out a tweet calling on Governor Rick Scott to veto the bill, a plea Scott is not likely to heed despite the U.S. Supreme Court's recent blocking of a similar Louisiana law.
— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) March 9, 2016