The website of state Rep. Scott Plakon, R-Longwood, who is running unopposed for reelection, states that Plakon “unequivocally supports any legislation created for the protection of all human life, in the womb and outside it. There is nothing in this world more sacred than our children and Scott’s support for pro-life legislation will be strong and unwavering.”
He is a vocal supporter of the Florida Pregnancy Support Services Program (which The Florida Independent has examined at length) and worked hard last year to avoid a budget cut to the program.
In 2009, the Orlando Weekly reported that Plakon, “along with some of his Republican peers, set out on a mission to convince Gov. Charlie Crist of the program’s importance to Florida parents in trouble, even while the budget crumbled.”
Plakon serves as a “founding board member of the Safe Harbor Pregnancy Center, which counsels pregnant women and helps those who have chosen to give birth to their babies be prepared for their new lives as mothers.” Safe Harbor is not part of the state-funded crisis pregnancy center chain.
“When women are in that crisis in life I believe helping to guide them is good,” Plakon tells The Florida Independent.
TFI has reported on the biased medical information distributed at state-funded crisis pregnancy centers. The clinics ignore a 2008 American Psychological Association report that debunks the claim that abortion causes mental health problems like depression and suicide.
When asked about this, Scott says, “If [the] APA notion is that abortion does not have a psychological impact that’s wrong. I have met dozens of women who have had negative psychological consequences even 20 years after an abortion.”
TFI also pointed out that outdated information is handed out. Plakon says there is a difference between private time and state-funded time in these pregnancy centers.
“If a brochure is used in the context of a private setting if they want to use something that is 100 years old that is acceptable,” Plakon says. “The brochures must have been printed with faith-based funds.”
When state funds are involved, he says “there should be a tighter standard. I am a legislator and want that everything we do is according to state and federal law.”
TFI has repeatedly contacted the Department of Health to ask about state oversight of the 79 Florida Pregnancy Support Services Program centers, but the department has not responded.
Plakon is included in a list of state Republicans who co-sponsored House Bill 1097, filed by state Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Palatka. The “Florida for Life Act” would have prohibited induced abortions.
In the 2010 legislative session, Plakon co-sponsored the “Born Alive Infant Protection Act” and the Parental Notice of Abortion bill. Both bills died in committee.
In the 2009 legislative session, he co-sponsored the Termination of Pregnancy Bill, which also died in committee.