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Abortion & Gun Laws: Have You Been Following What is Taking Place, It Is Abhorrent

By Hallandale Beach Mayor, Joy Cooper

March 30, 2023

State Legislators are in Tallahassee addressing citizen concerns. Are they? If you have been following what is taking place it is abhorrent. After years of lobbying and advocating on all levels of government on common sense gun laws this state seems dedicated to giving every single person the ability to carry a gun without a permit.

In 1994 there was actually an “assault weapons ban” passed in Congress after the 1989 Mass Shooting at a school in Stockholm, California. After that there was a Mass Shooting in 1993 at a law firm. The law was passed as a way to regulate weapons of war. It banned the sale of certain automatic assault weapons and more importantly large magazines. The law passed but with a 10 year sunset provision. It allowed those that had these automatic weapons to keep them. In 2004 the ban was not renewed.

Last meeting, I sponsored a resolution opposing the new “permit less carry” law and it was adopted unanimously by the Commission. It is simply bizarre even though polls suggest 61% of Floridians are against permit less carry and 76% of Floridians support universal background checks. So why would our Governor and the elected officials support this law? Even our law enforcement is opposed.

I have heard all the reasons about gun rights and this law being guised under the name Constitutional Carry. I am here to share that the NRA is real and they spend a ton of money $52 Million Dollars in 2020 alone. Not only do they spend direct, indirect and money through various PAC’s they spend a ton on grassroots opposition research. Back in 2018 the NRA cold called my office to find out if I was running for office. They did not realize I answered my own calls. In the last election in Florida alone they spent $15 Million Dollars.

So, when you are hearing it is about their base it may be. I argue it's about the money and the backlash if they do not carry the NRA’s water. We all need to unite and fight this bad legislation. Let us be real. How are our police going to be able to regulate and enforce anything? This law will increase the number of senseless killings and worse accidental shootings. Anyone with a weapon should be trained. This is simple common sense.

Another issue is the outright Abortion bans. Yes, 6 weeks is an outright ban. Most women do not even know they are pregnant at 6 weeks. Typically, most find out after 8 and some do not until much later as they cannot afford care. I understand that at this time they have put in the new bill with two exceptions. One for incest and the other for rape. The caveat is that victims need to be documented and before 15 weeks.

So here is a reality check. Most sexual assaults go unreported. According to a recent Miami Herald article “Only 310 out of 1,000 are reported.” The FBI reports that incest takes place in 10% percent of families and only 20% percent of those are reported.

I have always been a proponent of the three B’s. Stay out of our Beliefs. Stay out of our Bedrooms. Stay out of our Bodies. For 50 years women have had the right to privacy for our own health decisions. Now in the “Free State of Florida,” we are the slaves in our own state. I am thankful there is a lawsuit against the 15-week ban.

It is going to be interesting what happens now. Obviously we are all waiting on the supreme court ruling on the 15-week ban. There is also something else in play. If the ruling falls in favor of the state there will be another filing by the ACLU. In 1980, Florida’s Constitution provided “Every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person's private life.” It was upheld in a 1989 case about parental consent over Abortion. This case will have implications and obviously we are all waiting for the Supreme Court ruling. Even this case is a long shot with the Republican majority sitting on our court. Three were appointed by the Governor.

The truth is Abortions will still happen. We want safe, accessible and private health care. I believe we can all agree on that. During 2021 in the State of Florida there were 80,000 Abortions performed. 4,800 of them 6% occurred after 12 weeks. However, most ultrasounds do not take effect for fetal anatomy until 18 weeks so this new band would require two doctors to sign off. Also, there will be a review panel set up, so doctors more than likely will be apprehensive due to threats on their medical license.

The commission passed a resolution against this Legislation. One might ask why to weigh in on this type of issue. In my mind this is a public health issue. I cannot imagine a day when a doctor is being arrested for providing care. I also cannot imagine our EMS responding to calls for botched backroom Abortions. It has become partisan due to the fact some want freedom that pertains to their own beliefs.

I can respect everyone’s belief but when we force them on everyone, that is Totalitarianism. Ironically, 50% of Catholics support Abortion Rights, 57% percent historically Black Protestant and 67% Protestants and only 36% Evangelical Protestants support. 56% of Floridians support Abortion. So once again who is the state representing. Our “Free State?” One of the fundamental bedrocks of our society is the freedom of privacy. Once we continue to erode that right, what is left?

As always, I am available for your questions, concerns and ideas to help make our City a better place. Please feel free to reach out to me at my office: (954) 457-1318. On my Cell/Text at: 954-632-5700. Or email me at:

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