For immediate release: April 15, 2022
Media contact:

Tampa, Florida – On April 14th, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed House Bill (H.B.) 5 into law, stripping Floridians of critical abortion care. The law puts in place a 15-week abortion ban that will go into effect on July 1st, with no exceptions for rape, incest, or human trafficking. It only allows for a very limited exception to fetal abnormalities. 

Under H.B. 5, Floridians will be forced to travel upward 583 miles one-way—an increase from 13 miles under the previous law—to access abortions out of state. This is further compounded by the recently instituted 24-hour mandatory waiting period, exacerbating the barriers people of color, low-income individuals, and immigrants already face when trying to access health care. 

National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) Florida Organizing Manager, and Florida resident, May Thach, issued the following statement:

“Our community already faces numerous compounding barriers to abortion care access and these new abortion restrictions disproportionately harm the Asian American & Pacific Islander, Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities. Although AAPI women consist of more than 50 ethnic groups, speaking over 100 languages, the ‘model minority’ stereotype lumps our communities as one and perpetuates the myth that we are all economically successful. We are continually overrepresented in both the front-line and low-wage workforces. In Florida alone, 13% of Asian Americans and 22% of Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islanders live in poverty and 17% of AAPIs lack health insurance. High costs, the inability to take time off work or travel long distances, and language issues are just some of the barriers that make abortion care inaccessible to our communities. Laws like H.B. 5 do nothing but compound these barriers in our lives and push essential abortion care even further out of reach. 

We need safe access to time-sensitive abortion care as much as we need widely available contraception and culturally responsive health care. Anti-abortion lawmakers have imposed many time-consuming barriers for Floridians seeking abortions. On top of the 24-hour waiting period, in-person patient visits for mandated ultrasounds, and parental permission for youth, the 15-week abortion ban puts an incredible onus on our most marginalized communities. 

A recent polling from this year’s legislative session found that 60% of Floridians oppose the abortion ban; this is not a popular demand by the people of our state. We demand that all pregnant people have the right to make their own reproductive choices. At NAPAWF, we will continue to build power with our Asian American & Pacific Islander community until we have full agency over our lives, families, and communities. We are not your model minority, we refuse to be silent.”

# # #

The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) is the only multi-issue, progressive, community organizing and policy advocacy organization for Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women and girls in the U.S. NAPAWF’s mission is to build collective power so that all AAPI women and girls can have full agency over our lives, our families, and our communities.