On CNN, Florida state Rep. Robin Bartleman highlights why Florida's 6-week ban will worsen the maternal mortality crisis

Bartleman: “Women are going to die because of this”

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Citation From the April 14, 2023, edition of CNN Newsroom

BIANNA GOLODRYGA (ANCHOR): We should just explain to our viewers up until now, Florida had a 15-week ban on abortion, and it really played a role as a safe haven for women in the state and surrounding states to seek abortions past six weeks. That all changes now. Talk about the impact that that will have on women within the state -- families, actually, within the state and surrounding states.

ROBIN BARTLEMAN (FLORIDA STATE REPRESENTATIVE): Oh, it's going to have an impact on every single one of us. Look, this is a very divisive topic, And never in a million years did I ever think I would contemplate abortion. But in reality, one in four women have had an abortion. And it is their right to make a decision what's best for them and their families. 

I had a very much wanted pregnancy, a pregnancy that -- you know I went through infertility to get pregnant. And at a point in my pregnancy, I found out that I had a fetal abnormality, and you could see it right on the ultrasound. There were serious issues, and the doctor said, "You're going to have to make a decision about this pregnancy." So my husband and I went home and we talked about it. And I was special-ed teacher, so you can imagine what was going through my mind. And we talked and we talked and it is truly an agonizing, agonizing decision. And I knew in my heart what I wanted, but I knew in my head what I should do. And so after weeks of contemplation, praying to my God, speaking to my clergy, I made a decision to go through with the procedure, but I kept praying “make the decision for me, make the decision for me." And when I went in for the ultrasound again, luckily God made the decision for me, and the pregnancy terminated on its own.

And I was grateful for that, but do you know what I was really grateful for? That I had the opportunity to make that decision. It was a terrible process to go through, but it was my process to go through. It was my business. When we discussed this, the only people in the room were my doctor, my husband, and my God. The Florida legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis did not belong in that room. And with this legislation, with the legislation that passed last session and this session, they have inserted themselves into that room and inserted themselves into the decision-making process, which will impact every family in Florida.