A woman at a Florida Starbucks gave the state’s Gov. Rick Scott (R) an earful on Tuesday as he tried to get coffee to go.
“You’re an a–hole,” Cara Jennings yelled when she saw him. Jennings then laid into Scott about an antiabortion bill he signed a week ago. The measure cuts all state funding to entities that perform abortions, like Planned Parenthood. It adds massive new restrictions to abortion providers, including requiring doctors to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and requiring the state’s Agency for Health Care Administration to conduct yearly reviews on the clinics, going over at least 50 percent of the records. It also redefines the trimesters, “starting” the second trimester at 12 weeks (doctors agree that it starts at 14) and the third start at 24 weeks (instead of 26).
This law is even more stringent than the Texas abortion measure stayed by the Supreme Court last month. During the time those restrictions were in place, half of Texas’s 41 clinics closed.
And while it impacts all women in the state, it will hit the low-income women particularly hard. They will have to bear the burden of traveling long distances to clinics. Without proper access to medical care in the now-shortened first trimester, many may not even know they are pregnant in time to make a choice.
Jennings, a stay-at-home mom who works odd jobs when she can, attacked the governor for his disregard for the poor. “You don’t care about working people,” Jennings shouted. (The state’s unemployment level is 5.6 percent).
I happened to be in the Starbucks to witness the exchange. Afterward, I asked Jennings about it. She told me that his responses show “his ignorance as to what health care looks like for low-income women like me.” When asked why she thought it was appropriate to confront the elected official this way, she replied, “I think it’s important that people engage elected officials.”
You can read the full transcript of the video below:
Jennings: “A–hole. You don’t care about working people. You should be ashamed to show your face around here. …”
Scott: “A million jobs, a million jobs.”
Jennings: “A million jobs? Great. Who here has a great job?”
Scott: “You should.”
Jennings: “Or is looking forward to finishing school, you really think they have a job lined up? You stripped women of access to public health care. Shame on you, Rick Scott. We depend on those services.”
Scott: “Maybe you should try to tell the truth.”
Jennings: “Rich people like you don’t know what to do when poor people like us need health services; you cut ’em. Shame on you, Rick Scott. You’re an embarrassment to our state.”