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Local students travel to Tallahassee to testify against abortion ban

Florida State Capitol
Florida State Capitol

Florida Gulf Coast University undergraduates were part of a group that traveled to Florida’s state capitol this week to talk to their local lawmakers and testify before the Florida legislature. Larissa Nichols, 19, and Katelynn Tellgrenn, 25, testified against the 6-week abortion ban as well as restrictions on sex education and bans of books. Both were surprised at how easy it was to make their voices heard at the state capitol.

“All you have to do to testify is show up to the Capitol building, fill out a very short form with your name, your city that you live in, what committee you're attending, and check the box on if you want to speak or not,” said Tellgrenn.

The women testified before the Health Care Regulation subcommittee in protest of House Bill 7, the six-week abortion ban. They also met with an aid to Senate President Kathleen Passidomo of Naples, who is their representative. The women said they didn’t get the warmest welcome from the aid, but felt that they made an important impact.

“The aid didn't really want us there,” Nichols said. “She wasn't very engaging, a little belittling. But we said our truth and we just really were very powerful with our words.”

”We were also able to hand her over 20 letters written by students that came with us on this trip. Just talking about how we as youths here in Florida don't want the abortion ban,” said Tellgrenn.

The women traveled to Tallahassee with a group calledGeneration Action, a network of young activists. House Bill 7 passed out of the Health Care Regulation subcommittee and travels to the senate Monday, March 20, where it becomes Senate Bill 300.

“I feel like our voices will always have an impact,” said Tellgrenn. “It's our right as constituents to come out here and speak on these bills and speak for what we believe in.”

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