In their Friday coverage of Florida’s new 15-week abortion ban, NBC invited a guest onto the show wearing a T-shirt that read “Thank God for Abortion.”
As part of a segment covering the law, NBC interviewed multiple guests, including Florida Planned Parenthood affiliate Mayte Canino and abortion activist Stephanie Loraine Pineiro. Pineiro works as the co-director of the Florida Access Network (FAN), according to the Women’s Media Center. In 2019, she received the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute Award for her work with abortion activists in Florida and Puerto Rico and has been an advocate for abortion with FAN since 2015.
During her interview with the “TODAY” show, she wore her T-shirt which quickly caught the attention of outlets like Blaze and critics on social media. Pineiro clearly wasn’t trying to hide her stance. She told the audience that under the current terms of the Florida law, she would be unable to undergo an abortion.
“If I was pregnant right now, I wouldn’t be able to have an abortion,” she said.
Pineiro’s shirt caused an uproar on social media. NewsBusters executive editor Tim Graham called NBC’s decision to air the segment on Good Friday “obscene.”
This past week Gov. Ron DeSantis signed House Bill 5 into law on Thursday, effectively banning abortions after 15 weeks. The law was modeled after a similar bill in Mississippi which also banned abortions after the same window of time.
“House Bill 5 protects babies in the womb who have beating hearts, who can move, who can taste, who can see, and who can feel pain,” DeSantis said. “Life is a sacred gift worthy of our protection, and I am proud to sign this great piece of legislation which represents the most significant protections for life in the state’s modern history.”
The Florida Law will take effect on July 1, 2022.
The legality of the Mississippi law, which also bans abortions after the 15-week mark, is currently being considered before the Supreme Court. The decision reached there will likely impact the ability of states like Florida to enforce laws of their own with restrictions. If the law is permitted to stand, Florida’s will likely stay in place as well. Final argumentations for that case will take place later this month with a decision likely to be handed down in late June or early July.
Stephanie Loraine Pineiro, MSW is a 2019 winner of 120 Under 40, a Gates Institute project that aims to shine a light on the “positive disruptions” made by young leaders in family planning, enabling others to model their behavior and build on their success.