Miami-Dade mayoral candidate Daniella Levine Cava is hammering state lawmakers after the passage of a polarizing abortion bill.
The legislation requires minors to gain parental consent before undergoing an abortion. The Senate approved the bill in early February, with the House following up last week. Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the measure into law.
Democrats were largely critical of the legislation, arguing it put an unnecessary burden on children who may not have a healthy relationship with their parents. But Democratic Reps. James Bush III, Kim Daniels, Al Jacquet, Anika Omphroy and Patricia Williams did buck their party to support the bill.
Levine Cava has painted herself as a liberal during her time on the non-partisan Miami-Dade County Commission. She contrasted the bill’s passage with the centennial celebration of the 19th Amendment, which gave women the right to vote.
“On the heels of celebrating 100-years of the women’s rights movement, it’s outrageous that the Florida Legislature’s leadership took our state backwards on women’s health care rights,” Levine Cava said.
“The legislation that forces young women who have faced incest or rape to jump more hurdles to deal with a very personal health care decision is insulting and will only make an already difficult moment, much worse. It’s shameful and wrong.”
The legislation would require minors who don’t obtain consent from a parent or guardian for an abortion to obtain a waiver from a judge, a feat many Democrats argue is too much for a girl in that position to shoulder. They also worry the legislation would require a girl raped by her father to then seek his permission to abort the pregnancy he caused.
While Levine Cava came out strongly opposed to the legislation, some of her major rivals in the 2020 mayoral contest stayed mum on the measure.
A spokesperson for the Alex Penelas campaign said the candidate would not yet be speaking out on the legislation, which was approved last week.
“We haven’t vetted the bill thoroughly and have no definitive position on this bill currently,” the spokesperson said.
County Commissioner Xavier Suarez, who has also mounted a mayoral bid, took the same line.
“I leave that to our legislators,” Suarez said of the effort to require parental consent.
That trio has been atop the field in fundraising in the contest. The most recent reports put Penelas across the $3 million mark in terms of money raised. But Suarez actually eclipsed Penelas’ January numbers, bringing in $360,000.
Levine Cava has also been a strong fundraiser, adding $140,000 in January. She’s collected about $2.2 million so far.
Also competing in the contest are entrepreneur Monique Nicole Barley, County Commissioners Esteban Bovo and Jean Monestime, former Miami mayoral candidate Robert Burke and real estate agent Ludmilla Domond.