Volunteers who regularly help protect abortion clinic patients in Florida from crowds of pro-forced pregnancy protesters were able to deliver a check for $193,000 to Center of Orlando for Women on Tuesday, helping the reproductive healthcare center pay state fines that threatened to bankrupt it.
Volunteers with Stand With Abortion Now (SWAN) of Orlando raised the money in less than two weeks, after the Florida Agency for Healthcare Administration (AHCA) accused the clinic of violating the state’s 24-hour waiting period for people seeking abortion care.
The law requires people to have two medical appointments 24 hours apart in order to obtain an abortion, and the clinic has maintained it had attempted to contact the AHCA to find out when the measure went into effect—but instead of providing the information the agency ordered the facility to pay $1,000 each for 193 alleged violations.
“We got to hand over $193,000 to our clinic today to save them from unjust AHCA fines meant to shut them down!” said SWAN on social media. “We’ve never been so proud to be part of this movement and community.”
The makers of the podcast “Repros Fight Back” called SWAN’s crowdfunding effort “a powerful display of love, community, and solidarity” that will keep one of Orlando’s last abortion clinics open.
The clinic escorts delivered the funds to the facility days after the state’s right-wing Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case challenging Florida’s 15-week abortion ban. If the court does not overturn the law, a six-week abortion ban signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis—who is also running for the GOP’s presidential nomination—will go into effect.
SWAN volunteers rallied outside the state Supreme Court last week during the hearing.
Republished from Common Dreams under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).