One of Florida’s most prominent abortion rights advocates just made her choice for Governor. Barbara Zdravecky, former Planned Parenthood CEO for Southwest and Central Florida, endorsed U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist for the post.
“Charlie Crist has been a long-standing fighter for women’s reproductive freedoms across Florida,” Zdravecky said.
“His record is clear: As Congressman, he has stood with Planned Parenthood and the rights of Florida’s women 100 percent, and as Governor he will continue to do the same. Charlie is who we need in Tallahassee to firmly defend and protect a woman’s freedom to decide from Republican attacks. He has my full support and endorsement to be Florida’s next Governor.”
That’s an important endorsement considering Crist has come under fire from Democratic opponent Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried for his statements on abortion years ago. That included unearthing a robocall when Crist was still a Republican running for Governor in 2006 and he described himself as “pro-life.”
But Crist more recently has made support for abortion access a key part of messaging in his campaign for Governor as a Democrat.
Now, he’s embraced support from Zdravecky.
“I’m incredibly humbled to receive the support of a good friend and life-long champion for women’s reproductive health, Barbara Zdravecky,” Crist said. “Few have done more than Barbara to fight for Florida’s women. Her support is a reflection of our campaign’s promise to build a Florida that works for all Floridians, to protect women’s freedoms every single day.”
Zdravecky led the Planned Parenthood chapter for 24 years, during which time the organization began offering abortions at its Sarasota clinic for the first time, in 1998. She also led the merger between the Southwest and Central Florida chapters.
The organization today provides other access to affordable, high-quality reproductive care. The Planned Parenthood branch serves 39,000 patients across 61,000 appointments each year.