The Florida House of Representatives approved a ban on abortions for women who have been pregnant for 15 weeks or longer without exceptions for rape or incest — a nine-week difference from current legislation. Lawmakers debated for five hours and 27 minutes on Wednesday night before passing the state’s most restrictive abortion law since 1973’s Roe vs. Wade decision early Thursday morning,
Florida law currently prohibits abortions for women who have been pregnant for 24 weeks or longer. The new bill — titled ‘CS/HB 5: Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality’ — was filed by Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, on Jan. 11 and cleared by two subcommittees. The bill has no exceptions for rape, incest, coercion or mental health. It only allows abortions after 15 weeks as an emergency procedure to save the mother’s life or if there’s risk of physical impairment if the pregnancy is carried to full term. Physicians who perform abortions after 15 weeks would be guilty of a third-degree felony.
The bill now awaits approval from the Senate before its final stop at the governor’s desk.
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