PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Florida’s 15-week abortion ban and the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade have ignited the longstanding debate surrounding the implications of limiting access to abortion.
The Broward Right To Life Foundation is a nonprofit organization that aims to help women deal with unwanted pregnancies without resorting to abortion.
Tewannah Aman, the organization’s director, said she is devoted to the cause because she regrets having an abortion and suffering both physically and emotionally.
“To me being, you know, pro-life, and having had an abortion and being pro-abortion myself, it was the most selfish thing I ever did,” Aman said on Sunday during This Week In South Florida.
While Aman celebrated the Florida ban and the Supreme Court’s decision, Mayte Canino was grateful President Joe Biden was considering declaring a public health emergency.
Canino said she was worried about how judges and politicians are going to impact the teenage girls and women who have to deal with an unwanted pregnancy.
“We are going to go back to the days when women were going to unsafe places and dying because ... they did not receive the proper care that they need,” said Canino, a deputy organizer for Planned Parenthood South Florida and the Treasure Coast.
Canino said she was concerned about women who assumed that the Supreme Court ruling made abortion illegal around the country because the laws now vary from state to state, so it’s important to educate the public. Aman disagreed.
“I think what’s sad is women believe that they have a right and their rights trump the right of the child and we believe that every life has a right to life,” Aman said.
The Florida ban, which prohibits abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, does not allow exemptions for women who were victims of rape, incest, or human trafficking.
“Who would have thought there was going to be a law on the books that don’t even look at a person that has been a victim of rape or incest or trafficking,” Canino said.
Violators of the ban could face up to five years in prison, face $10,000 fines, and have their license to practice revoked. Aman said that in her eyes, there is no reason to get an abortion.
“We never know what that child will end up becoming ... I feel like we play like God and decide the fate of an individual when we look at circumstances,” Aman said.
Canino said most of the women who come to Planned Parenthood come in earlier in the pregnancy. She said the women who want an abortion later in their pregnancy are dealing with fetal anomalies.
This Week In South Florida’s July 10 episode
Local 10 News’ Sarah Ramdin contributed to this report.