Florida reps on House panel take up 15-week abortion ban

click to enlarge Florida's Capitol building in Tallahassee - Adobe
Florida's Capitol building in Tallahassee

In what likely will be one of the most-controversial issues of the 2022 legislative session, a House panel next week will take up a bill that would prevent doctors from performing abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The House Professions & Public Health Subcommittee is slated to consider the measure (HB 5), filed by Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, during a meeting Wednesday. It will be the first hearing for the bill, which is similar to a Mississippi abortion restriction that is before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Grall and Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, filed the proposal in the House and Senate (SB 146) this week. The Supreme Court heard arguments Dec. 1 on the Mississippi law, spurring widespread opinions that the court’s conservative majority will uphold the law — or possibly go further in striking down the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion ruling.

The Florida bills would include exceptions to the 15-week limit to protect the lives of pregnant women or to “avert a serious risk of imminent substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.” Also, they would include an exception for fetuses that have not reached viability and have fatal abnormalities. The bills do not include exceptions for rape or incest.

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