Florida Rep. Webster Barnaby Files Texas-Style “Florida Heartbeat Act”
Florida's principled limited government constitutional conservative Republican State Representative Webster Barnaby (District 27) has filed a Texas-style abortion bill that would prohibit abortions in Florida once a fetal heartbeat is detected.
The Florida Heartbeat Act (HB 167) introduced Wednesday would ban abortion in Florida when a fetal heartbeat is detected, which usually occurs six to eight weeks after conception.
The legislation's enforcement would rely on people filing civil complaints against violators in return for monetary awards. The bill also strikes the word "fetus" from Florida law in favor of “unborn child.”
The Tallahassee Democrat online reported it wasn't immediately clear whether the bill was backed by Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls of Palm Harbor. The incoming Republican Sen. Kathleen Passidomo of Naples, in line to become Senate president, has expressed skepticism about the Texas approach. “I am pro-life but I am not pro telling on your neighbors,” Passidomo told the Argus Foundation crowd gathered at Michael's on East, adding that she is “uncomfortable with that language” allowing citizen enforcement.
Passidomo said in an interview with the Herald-Tribune after the event that she does favor banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat can be detected.
“From my understanding, and a cursory review of the Texas law, you can break it down into two parts, one is the so-called fetal heartbeat provisions and I do support those provisions because I am pro-life,” she told Sarasota's Argus Foundation.
The comments by Sen. Passidomo, reported by Zac Anderson of the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, indicate that a Texas-style law could have a tough time advancing in Florida without some revisions.
However, the Tallahassee Democrat online reported Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he wants to pass stronger laws against abortion, but when asked about the civil remedy in the Texas ban he said he didn't know enough about it to say that he'd support a similar bill in Florida.
“What they did in Texas was interesting," DeSantis told reporters after the U.S. Supreme Court let the ban go into effect. "I am going to look more significantly at it.”
Florida Speaker of the House Chris Sprowls and Senate President Wilton Simpson, both Republicans, called for a review of Florida abortion regulations after the U.S. Supreme Court declined last month to block the Texas law.
We urge CHQ readers and friends to contact Florida State Senator Kathleen Passidomo to respectfully ask her to support Rep. Webster Barnaby’s HB 167 if it comes before the Florida State Senate and to vote YES if a companion bill is introduced in the Florida State Senate. You may email Florida State Senator Kathleen Passidomo through this link https://www.flsenate.gov/Senators/S28 or call her at one of her offices: Tallahassee (850) 487-5028, Naples (239) 417-6205, LaBelle (863) 674-7122. Call or email her today to urge Sen. Passidomo to support the Florida Heartbeat Act.
State Representative Webster Barnaby (District 27)
Florida Heartbeat Act (HB 167)
Speaker Chris Sprowls
Sen. Kathleen Passidomo
Gov. Ron DeSantis