On Sept. 14, the Wilton Manors City Commission approved resolution 2021-074 urging the Florida Legislature to act in order to safeguard the accessibility, affordability, and safety of reproductive healthcare and the fundamental constitutional right to abortion.
While passing a resolution is a strong statement, it is my belief that this was the appropriate response to the latest efforts of several U.S. states to severely limit or even outright ban abortion. In particular, the recent court ruling in Texas sets a dangerous precedent we must avoid here in Florida.
The vote passed 4-0, with Gary Resnick not present to vote. The City of Wilton Manors believes all have the constitutional fundamental right to make their own reproductive choices and the right to access reproductive healthcare services such as contraception, STD/HIV testing and treatment, OBGYN services, and comprehensive sex education for young people. The resolution also specifically addressed the concerns of transgender men and gender non-conforming people who have reproductive health concerns and deserve access to fundamental health care.
I wish to express my gratitude to Floridians for Reproductive Freedom, who authored the resolution, as well as Mary Eakins, Coral Springs Commissioner Metayer, and Equality Florida for their advocacy on the issue. Floridians for Reproductive Freedom reports that leadership in both chambers of the Florida Legislature have stated to the press that they are gearing up to pass more abortion restrictions, with the Senate President lauding specifically the new Texas ban.
In addition to addressing reproductive health care rights, the commission also took a leadership stand on HB1 that has been called the “anti-protest” bill. Besides overstepping citizens' fundamental rights, it also limits the ability of municipal governments to reduce law enforcement funding. As a result of a 4-0 vote by the commission, our city will sign on as a plaintiff to an existing lawsuit with several other Florida cities to challenge many provisions of HB1 which we believe violate home rule or are unconstitutional. Florida’s home rule law is what gives local governments the authority to dictate how to run their cities.
- Chris Caputo, City Commissioner