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First Coast Connect

7/30/19: Abortion Battles; Food Insecurity; Catty Shack

Demonstrators for women's reproductive rights rallied outside a Fort Myers Planned Parenthood Clinic.
Demonstrators for women's reproductive rights rallied outside a Fort Myers Planned Parenthood Clinic.

Pro-choice activists are marching this weekend in St. Augustine.

The St. Augustine March for Choice is planned as laws restricting or virtually banning abortions have been enacted in a number of states around the country.

But not here in Florida, where abortion is legal, although two attempts to pass “fetal heartbeat bills” were introduced last year in Tallahassee.

Layla Slate, the organizer of the St. Augustine March for Choice, joined us in the studio for a closer look. We also spoke to Theresa Graham, President of North Florida Right to Life; and Mary Marcus, who  attended the first major trial aimed at overturning Roe Versus Wade. 

Food Insecurity

Nearly three million people in Florida are food insecure, including 800,000 children and 500,000 seniors, according to Guidewell, the parent company of Florida Blue.

Addressing it is not a one-size-fits-all issue. Guidewell has issued a statewide challenge to entrepreneurs, nonprofits, innovators and organizations seeking the most innovative ideas for ending food insecurity in their communities. 

Susan Towler, Vice President of the Florida Blue Foundation; and Kirstie McCool, Executive Director of GuideWell Innovation, joined us to explain.

Related: North Florida Rep. Al Lawson Introduces Bill To Tackle Food Insecurity

Credit Catty Shack Ranch

Catty Shack Ranch

Monday marked the 9th annual International Day of the Tiger. Catty Shack Ranch in Jacksonville is marking the event to celebrate majestic beasts on the verge of extinction. The ranch's founder, Curt LoGiudice, joined us with more.

Heather Schatz can be reached at, 904-358-6334 or on Twitter at @heatherschatz.

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Heather is the senior producer of WJCT 89.9 FM talk shows including First Coast Connect with Melissa Ross, the Florida Roundup and What's Health Got to Do with It?