Ruth’s List Florida rescinds Patricia Williams endorsement after controversial abortion vote
Patricia Hawkins-Williams will run on cooperation, bipartisanship. Image via Colin Hackley.

Patricia Hawkins-Williams
Williams was one of five Democrats to support a polarizing abortion bill.

Ruth’s List Florida, an organization aimed at helping pro-choice Democratic women get elected, is rescinding its endorsement of Democratic Rep. Patricia Williams.

The move comes after Williams was one of five Democrats to vote in favor of a bill requiring minors to gain parental consent before undergoing an abortion.

The legislation (SB 404) does have some exceptions. But it was a largely polarizing bill, with only a few Republicans and Democrats in the House bucking their respective parties during the Thursday vote.

Many Democrats had harshly criticized the measure as a burden to children who may not have a healthy relationship with their parents. A meme is making its way through social media circles Friday claiming that a child raped by her father would have to get his permission to terminate a resulting pregnancy. That claim is mostly true, but the bill would allow the child to get a waiver from the judge for an abortion in lieu of parental consent — a step critics say is too much of a burden for a child to bear, particularly one who has experienced trauma.

Pam Goodman, the CEO and President of Ruth’s List Florida, argued the measure is an infringement on a woman’s right to choose. She elaborated in a statement explaining the decision to un-endorse Williams.

“We are deeply disappointed to learn of Williams’ anti-choice vote,” Goodman said Friday morning.

“We can no longer support her candidacy. Ruth’s List is founded on the principle that women must have the freedom to make their own medical decisions. Clearly, Ms. Williams does not share that position — despite her promise to us that she was a pro-choice leader.”

Williams isn’t currently facing a primary challenger in House District 92 as she attempts to defend her seat in 2020. However, Nancy St. Clair has filed as a write-in candidate.

Williams joined the Legislature in 2016. HD 92 covers portions of northeast Broward County. The district extends from Oakland Park through Fort Lauderdale up to Deerfield Beach.

Democratic Reps. James Bush III, Kim Daniels, Al Jacquet and Anika Omphroy joined Williams to vote in favor of the bill.

The Senate has already approved the legislation. Thursday, the House OK’d the Senate version. That means the bill will next head to Gov. Ron DeSantis. He is expected to sign the measure.

Ryan Nicol

Ryan Nicol covers news out of South Florida for Florida Politics. Ryan is a native Floridian who attended undergrad at Nova Southeastern University before moving on to law school at Florida State. After graduating with a law degree he moved into the news industry, working in TV News as a writer and producer, along with some freelance writing work. If you'd like to contact him, send an email to [email protected].


  • Ron

    February 21, 2020 at 12:01 pm

    In so doing Ruth’s List shows it practices the kind of thoughtless, litmus-test politics that is driving the Democratic party into the hinterlands of extremism and throwing rose-petals in President Trump’s pathway to a second term.

    • Suzy

      February 21, 2020 at 1:50 pm


  • Patti Lynn

    February 21, 2020 at 1:06 pm

    Thank you, Ruth’s List, for standing up for a woman’s right to control her own body. There are some things that REQUIRE a litmus test, reproductive rights is one of them. Thank you for all that Ruth’s List is accomplishing in Florida

    • Suzy

      February 21, 2020 at 1:52 pm

      Girls are not women. They are children. This popular legislation pertains to children and their parents’ lawful rights.

Comments are closed.


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