Florida Legislature Sends Abortion Bill To Governor Scott

By: Florida Senate Email
By: Florida Senate Email

Associated Press News Release
April 25, 2014

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida Legislature has approved a bill that requires a physician to determine the viability of a fetus to live outside the womb with standard medical care before performing an abortion.

The legislation cleared the Florida Senate on a 24 to 15 vote Friday. It earlier passed through the Florida House of Representatives.

The bill's supporters say the law could prevent abortions around the 20th week of pregnancy. Current law prohibits most abortions during the third trimester of pregnancy, or around 26 weeks. Advocates say the bill implements viability as determined by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 1992 ruling.

Opponents of the measure have argued that a mother, not the government, should determine when to abort a baby.

Scott has previously signed several pro-life measures.


News Release: Associated Press News
Updated: April 11, 2014, 10pm

By STEVE MILLER

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- The Florida House has passed a measure prohibiting abortions after the viability of a fetus has been determined, with limited exceptions.

The bill (HB 1047) passed Friday with a 70-45 vote, after a debate that touched on legal and medical issues. Much of the discussion focused on the viability of a fetus, or the point at which life can be sustained with standard medical care.

Several lawmakers referred to legal precedents regarding viability, saying that Florida is simply creating a law that keeps up with federal court rulings.

Current law prohibits abortions in the third trimester of pregnancy, with exceptions.


News Release: Associated Press News
Updated: April 9, 2014, 8:30pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida Democrats are raising several questions on a bill that would expand a law that makes it a separate crime to kill a fetus by killing or injuring the mother.

The bill being considered by the House would expand the law to a fetus at any stage of development. Current law only applies to fetuses that have developed to the point that they could survive outside the womb.

Among questions raised by Democrats Wednesday were whether someone could be charged with a crime if they injure a fetus during sports activities or during a car accident.

Republican Rep. Larry Ahern simply expands current law and it would not apply unless there was criminal intent to harm the pregnant woman.


News Release: Florida Senate

Tallahassee, Fla. – Today the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Tom Lee (R- Brandon), passed Senate Bill 918, which advances Florida’s protection of the unborn.

“Florida’s laws must keep pace with changes in medical technology,” said President Don Gaetz (R-Niceville). “As a matter of public policy, I believe the bar should be set high for elective abortions involving viable unborn children.”

Sponsored by Senator Anitere Flores (R- Miami), Senate Bill 918 maintains Florida’s current prohibition on third trimester (24 weeks) elective abortions, but requires that a physician, prior to 24 weeks, using his/her medical judgment, determine the viability of the child prior to an abortion procedure. SB 918 also provides medical exceptions to protect the mother if the termination of pregnancy is medically necessary during viability. The bill requires medically necessary abortions during viability be performed in hospital to protect both the mother and unborn child.

The United States and Florida Supreme Courts have ruled regulation of elective abortions constitutional when the child has achieved viability. Representative Janet Adkins (R-Fernandina Beach) has filed the companion bill, HB 1047, in the House.

For more information on SB 918, please visit www.flsenate.gov.


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