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Fla. Lawmakers, Planned Parenthood Affiliates Discuss LARC Pilot

January 25, 2016 — In related news, Florida lawmakers and members of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates on Wednesday announced legislation (HB 947, S 1116) that would promote LARC access, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports.

Under the measures, the state Department of Health would develop a LARC pilot program in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Palm Beach counties. The pilot would offer family support, marketing, training and technical aid. The legislation also would require the pilot program to produce a report at its conclusion on its performance, with recommendations for improvement.

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State Sen. Arthenia Joyner (D), sponsor of the Senate bill, pointed to the success of a LARC program inColorado. She noted, "In the first four years of the Colorado program, the teen birth rate declined 40 percent and subsequent births dropped 53 percent." She added, "Overall, the pro-active program netted Colorado taxpayers $42.5 million in health care savings in the year 2010 alone."

Separately, Kimberly Diaz, a lobbyist for FAPPA, criticized recently proposed antiabortion-rights legislation in the state, including a bill (HB 233) that would require clinics to meet the same building standards as ambulatory surgical centers. "For more than 40 years, the U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed that under Roe v. Wade, the Constitution protects every woman's right" to make her own medical decisions, she said, adding, "Yet as another Florida legislative session is under way, we have seen more attacks on access to a full range of receptive health care than ever before."

Similarly, state Rep. Lori Berman (D), said, "Over the years, opponents have relentlessly chipped away at women's rights with Florida unfortunately being at the forefront of this movement." She added that the LARC proposals would "safeguard a woman's right to choice and to control her reproductive rights"(Pryor,Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 1/20).