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Florida’s Heartbeat Law could receive a vote today

by | Mar 30, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

It looks as if the Florida Heartbeat Bill is moving quickly towards passage.

The House Health and Human Services Committee advanced HB 7, the Pregnancy and Parenting Support bill, today on a vote of 14-6. “The state House version of the bill has a few more stops: the Health and Human Services Committee is scheduled to vote on it Thursday morning before it moves to the full house,” Anika Hope reported.

The full state Senate is scheduled to begin debate on SB 300 (the Senate version of the heartbeat bill) and could hold a vote on Thursday. The bill also authorized $25 million for Florida’s crisis pregnancy centers.

The legislation would protect unborn babies by disallowing abortions once the child’s heartbeat is detectable, at about six weeks of pregnancy. There are exceptions allowed for rape, incest, and cases when the mother’s life is at risk or to avert “serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment.”

A recent poll found that 62% of Floridians would support a limit after a baby’s heartbeat is detected with exceptions for rape, incest, and to save the life of the mother. “This is true regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, or party affiliation,” according to Ragnar Research Partners.

“We have an unprecedented opportunity as lawmakers to protect innocent life,” Republican Senator Erin Grall said of SB 300, adding it would make Florida a “beacon of hope for those who understand that life must be protected.”

Writing for Florida PoliticsA.G. Gancarski noted that Sen. Grall, in closing, said

she heard “choice and choice and choice over and over again.” She said she presented this bill because there “is this culture of death that we have normalized for 50 years, we have sterilized what abortion is.”

“Does Florida want to promote a culture of life,” asked Grall rhetorically, “where all life is important.”

Florida’s pro-life governor Ron DeSantis has signaled his support for the proposal, including to reporters in Tallahassee after Tuesday’s Senate committee vote. “Exceptions are sensible. And like I said, we welcome pro-life legislation,” DeSantis said.

Categories: State Legislation
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