On Wednesday, State Representative Webster Barnaby, R-Deltona, introduced a bill that would impose the same restrictions on abortions as Texas does. The Florida Heartbeat Act, or HB 167, would prohibit abortion once a fetal heartbeat can be detected. A fetal heartbeat may be detected as early as six weeks into pregnancy. Anyone who performs or assists
The bill was submitted for consideration during the next legislative session, which begins in January. When asked about the bill, Barnaby responded, “No comment at this time,” while House and Senate Democrats condemned it. Lauren Book, a Democratic senator from Plantation, stated: In a press release, the HRC said the bill is an “outright attack on women,” calling it “a draconian Texas-style anti-abortion bill” in which “Women’s concerns have now been realized with the filing of an extreme Texas-style anti-abortion legislation in the Florida House.” The book added that Senate Democrats would oppose it.
“We knew it would be here,” said House Minority Co-Leader Evan Jenne of Dania Beach, “and we’re prepared to make a strong argument against it when it comes up.” Because of the Republican majority in the legislature, blocking the bill will be difficult, according to Jenne.
When asked about the bill, incoming House Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, stated, “We’re not going to follow Texas’ example. We’ll take our own path. And again, hear from all sides and have a really extensive conversation about the balance of interests on both sides before coming to a conclusion that I hope will move.
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