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Florida House advances pro-life legislation banning abortion after 15 weeks

The bill is expected to pass in the Senate, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis previously expressing his support for the bill.

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Hannah Nightingale Washington DC
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Late Wednesday evening, the Florida House of Representatives passed a bill that banns abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, mirroring other bills passed across the country.

According to Reuters, the bill passed along party lines, 78-39, shortly before midnight. The bill has been sent to the Senate for consideration.

The bill is expected to pass in the Senate, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis previously expressing his support for the bill.

House Bill 5, or the Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality act, aims to, amongst other issues, looks to ban abortions after 15 weeks, with exceptions being made for cases where an abortion is needed to save the mother’s live or is at risk of irreversible physical impairment, or that the fetus has a "fatal fetal abnormality."

The bill also looks to help youth, adults, and women who are pregnant or may become pregnant stop smoking, create "fetal and infant mortality review committees," and creates the requirement that hospitals that perform birthing services shall participate in at least "two quality improvement initiatives developed in collaboration with the Florida Perinatal Quality Collaboration within the University of South Florida College of Public Health."

If the bill passes the Senate and heads to DeSantis' desk for signing, it will take effect on July 1, 2022.

The bill mirrored that which was passed in Mississippi in 2018. According to Reuters, Arizona’s Senate and West Virginia’s House passed similar bills on Tuesday.

Mississippi's law is before the Supreme Court after the Department of Justice brought the suit. The case could overturn Roe v. Wade. A ruling on the case is expected this spring.

Texas' similar bill has ended up in the Supreme Court as well, with the court ruling in December that the law can remain as it allows a lawsuit against it to go forward.

Representative Robin Bartelman said Florida’s bill insets legislation in private healthcare decisions, saying "I feel as a woman it is my right to make choices about my body."

Representative David Borrero argued that Roe v Wade is a flawed ruling at should be overturned because it "failed to recognize the humanity and the personhood of the unborn."

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