The annulment of Roe v. Wade puts new pressure on Florida social services

Is Florida ready for the post-Roe experience? If the state health and social services network is any indication, the answer is a resounding “no”. Child welfare and women’s health programs have failed to meet the needs of a growing and diverse state. What makes believe that he will be ready to face a wave of forced births?

The question too few are asking is whether Florida’s hodgepodge of government agencies and nonprofits that provide health and social services to pregnant women, newborns, and youth put up for adoption and/or in foster care will be up to the challenge as more and more women are. forced to carry fetuses to term? The answer is daunting, even assuming that these services are somehow available.

“Our child protective services have been in crisis for decades, and they’re still here,” Karen Woodall, a longtime attorney and director of the Tallahassee-based Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy, told the Post Editorial. Board. “The reality is that reality doesn’t match rhetoric. We’re groping around the edges. That’s nothing new.”

According to a recent Associated Press analysis, states with the most restrictive laws tend to offer less support for parents and children, which typically leads to poverty and poor health outcomes.

So how bad is it in Florida?

The Annie E. Casey Foundation’s 2021 Kids Count data book ranks Florida 35th out of 50 states for overall child well-being, the composite ranking of economic well-being, education, health and family and community data. Florida did worse in the economic well-being category, ranking 42nd.

Another clue: In 2020, USA Today reporters produced an investigation into the state’s foster care system titled, “Florida Took Thousands of Children From Families, Then Failed to Safeguard Them “. The series describes a system that has collapsed under the increase in the number of cases, in which social workers have lied and omitted information from their reports and in which children have been harmed.

The survey produced some changes, but with more than 79,000 women having abortions in 2021, according to data from the Agency for Healthcare Administration, one can only imagine what could happen with the possibility of more children ending up in state custody. While the impact of the new abortion restrictions on Florida health and human services is unclear, there is consensus that more resources will be needed if many of what were expected to be abortions become babies of unwanted pregnancies.

For years, abortion opponents have called for more rights for unborn children, while offering rhetoric or outright opposition to initiatives that would help vulnerable mothers and their children. The Child Tax Credit, Medicaid, Obamacare are just the major federal government programs that are met with strong opposition from conservative Republicans and many life rights. Life after Roe, however, puts them in a corner.

It’s ironic that Florida Sen. Rick Scott, who once considered expanding Medicaid here as governor before backtracking, is now using his position as head of the Senate Republican Campaign Committee to urge Republicans to “do everything what is in our power to meet the needs of women in difficulty”. and their families so they can choose life.”

Senator Marco Rubio also chimes in, announcing an idea on Twitter that “would support mothers and babies so that every child has a real opportunity to pursue America’s promise.” The proposal includes a limited extension of Child Tax Credit payments and would allow paid family leave, if those participants use their Social Security benefits and delay retirement. Such is life in the post-Roe world.

It is now up to the states to set the rules regarding abortions. Several states have already severely restricted abortions. Florida is one of six states where state courts have become the new battleground to preserve or eliminate the process.

Women who thought the medical procedure would still be available to them face a world of risk that many thought was long gone. The pro-life community would do well to better understand and push for additional resources for the health and social care services they assume are so readily available.

The improvement of social services does not replace what had been a fundamental right guaranteed by Roe v. Wade and subsequent Supreme Court decisions. But with abortion restrictions reinstated, the strengthening of social services cannot be overlooked.

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