Courtesy of Huffington Post Black Voices
A debate in Florida’s House of Representatives over a Republican-sponsored ban on race- and sex-selective abortions became extremely heated Thursday, causing several black women lawmakers to walk out in protest.
House Bill 845, sponsored by Rep. Charles Van Zant (R-Keystone Heights), would make it a third-degree felony in Florida to perform an abortion based on the race or gender of the fetus. In his closing statements on Thursday, Van Zant accused Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers of intentionally targeting black people. “The fact is, 80 percent of abortion clinics nationwide are located in minority neighborhoods where 43 percent of all black babies are aborted,” Van Zant said, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
“In America alone, without the Nazi Holocaust, without the Ku Klux Klan, Planned Parenthood and other abortionists have reduced our black population by more than 25 percent since 1973,” he said. “This is called discriminatory targeting.”
Several black lawmakers became insulted during the debate, and at least five women walked out. Rep. Barbara Watson (D-Miami), one of the members who left, told HuffPost in a phone interview that she felt as if Van Zant was manipulating information to reflect his personal beliefs about abortion.
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