Florida lawmakers to debate restrictive abortion bill

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida lawmakers are set to go head-to-head Wednesday on a restrictive abortion bill.


The measure seeks to shrink the window to get an abortion to 15 weeks. It’s similar to a Mississippi law that’s before the U.S. Supreme Court.

The bill, House Bill Five, mentions restricting when a doctor can perform an abortion, and under what conditions.

Pro-choice advocates said their rights are once again up for debate at the Capitol.

READ: State legislatures in US poised to act on abortion rights

House Bill Five challenges the precedents set by the 1973 decision of Roe vs. Wade. Instead of 24 weeks, doctors will only be able to perform abortions up to 15 weeks from conception.

Exceptions include for fetal abnormalities, but not for cases of rape or incest. Florida Voice for the Unborn Executive Director Andrew Shirvell said it’s a long time coming.

“A manner in which a child was conceived should be irrelevant under the law,” Shirvell said. “A baby that is as a result of a rape or incest shouldn’t be punished as a result of their father.”

READ: New laws take effect across US on abortion, policing, taxes

State House Rep. Anna Eskamani said she’s concerned because Florida’s abortion laws are already restrictive enough.

“Whether it’s political people seeking abortion, religious people, apolitical, poor people, people with money - the reality is the decision to end a pregnancy isn’t dictated by an ideology. So I’m hopeful Republicans will speak out against these circumstances,” Eskamani said.

Republicans have the majority in both chambers, meaning they’ll have to reach across the aisle if they want to stop this.

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Even if it passes through Wednesday’s committee, it still needs to move through both chambers. That’s two more stops in the House then all three in the Senate.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.