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Barrett Appointment Threatens Reproductive Rights, Advocates Say


The appointment of Amy Coney Barrett this week to the Supreme Court is a threat to reproductive rights, says Stephanie Fraim, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida.

“With her appointment to the Supreme Court, Roe V. Wade is at risk like never before,” she said.

The 1973 Supreme Court decision protected a woman’s right to choose to have an abortion without government interference. A right, says Fraim, that 70 percent of Americans support.

“They believe in the tenets of Roe V. Wade, which is that a medical decision around a pregnancy should be private, and should be between the pregnant person, her family, her physician, and any faith person she wants to bring in. That’s where that decision belongs, and that’s what the American people know,” Fraim said.

Other recent threats to Planned Parenthood have gone beyond the legislative. Earlier this month, a man was arrested for throwing Molotov cocktails at the Planned Parenthood building in Fort Myers. Fraim says the tenor of hostility toward reproductive rights in general and Planned Parenthood in specific has ratcheted up in recent years.

“They’ve been more threatening and more violent –I personally have had some pretty horrible things said to me and been yelled at, my car’s been stopped. So that’s been increasing. And then this recent firebombing was just an extreme expression of the verbal violence that has been slung against us for years now,” she said.

Despite the obstacles, Fraim says, Planned Parenthood has been around for 104 years and will be here for 104 more.

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