History Making Pro-Life Bills Introduced In Florida
On the opening day of Florida’s 2022 legislative session, Senator Kelli Stargel and Representative Erin Grall filed bills HB 5 and SB 146 on “Reducing Fetal and Infant
Mortality.” The bills create enhanced measures to defend the lives of unborn children. If these bills pass, the new law would be the strongest protection for unborn children in Florida’s history to date.
Before the legislative session started, House Speaker Chris Sprowls put Grall and Rep. Colleen Burton, R-Lakeland, in charge of his chamber’s abortion legislation efforts. That could mean the proposals have momentum in a Legislature helmed by Sprowls and Senate President Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, observed Kirby Wilson of the Tampa Bay Times.
The measures, Senate Bill 146 and House Bill 5, would ban a physician from performing an abortion after 15 weeks unless the health of the mother is at risk, or if there is a “fatal fetal abnormality.” The bills would also require abortion providers to document the number of pregnancies terminated by medications and submit that figure to the Agency for Health Care Administration monthly.
In light of the Dobbs decision currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, all eyes are on the legislative session in Tallahassee this year. If the Dobbs case upholds Mississippi’s 15-week ban, it sets the stage for implementing a similar law here in Florida.
Our friend John Stemberger, President of the Florida Family Policy Council, and one of Florida’s leading pro-life advocates, released the following statement on the newly introduced pro-life legislation:
This bill is a unique and comprehensive approach to protecting unborn children. If the bill passes it would provide the most robust protection for unborn babies in Florida’s post-Roe history. The bill protects unborn children after 15 weeks of pregnancy which is almost identical to the Mississippi law in the Dobbs case which is now before the U.S. Supreme Court to be decided in June of 2022 where many expect Roe vs. Wade could overturned.
The bill also addresses and fixes the late-term abortion problem we have in Florida, since many pregnant mothers travel to Florida for the express purpose of receiving a later term abortion which is not allowed in other states. The bill increases reporting requirements, including the reporting of chemical abortions which are becoming more and more prevalent. The Senate and House bills are well-thought out and almost mirror each other which increases the bill’s likelihood of passage. This bill is a major step in the right direction.
The bill stipulates an abortion could be performed after 15 weeks under three conditions:
If two physicians certify in writing that there is medical necessity for the termination of the pregnancy to save the mother’s life.
If one physician certifies in writing that there is medical necessity for the termination of the pregnancy to save the mother’s life, and another physician is not available for consultation.
If two physicians certify in writing that the fetus has not achieved viability or has a fatal fetal abnormality.
House Speaker Chris Sprowls, R-Palm Harbor, quickly backed the House abortion bill.
“The Florida House remains steadfast in our commitment to Florida’s children, both born and unborn,” Sprowls said in a prepared statement. “HB 5 significantly narrows the available window for elective abortions while providing new resources and programs to reduce infant mortality in Florida. This bill was the result of the hard work of many members, and I’d like to particularly thank Chairs Grall and Burton for their leadership on this important issue.”
Senator Kelli Stargel
Representative Erin Grall
Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality
House Speaker Chris Sprowls
Rep. Colleen Burton
Senate President Wilton Simpson
15 week abortion ban