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New Bill Would Ban Abortions After Heartbeat is Detectable

January 14th, 2019 by Jake Stofan

New Legislation filed by a conservative state lawmaker would severely restrict abortions in the state.

Legislation in 2017 aimed at banning abortions in Florida after 20 weeks died in early committee meetings.

The new bill, filed for the 2019 session, goes even further.

It would make it a 3rd-degree felony for a doctor to perform an abortion if a fetal heartbeat could be detected.

“Consider the rights of that unborn baby,” said bill sponsor Representative Mike Hill.

Hill says the decision to file the bill came down to his constitutional oath.

The legislation also redefines an “unborn fetus” as an “unborn human being.”

“My oath said that I would protect life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Life being the first one,” said Hill.

Kimberly Scott with Planned Parenthood calls the heartbeat bill: “The most dangerous bill that we have seen for reproductive health in the Florida Legislature.”

Representative Hill says a fetal heart beat can usually be detected after 18 days.

Planned Parenthood says 6 weeks.

Either way, it would be a major decrease from the 24 weeks currently allowed under Florida law.

Planned Parenthood says legal challenges would undoubtedly ensue if the bill became law.

“They spend millions of tax payer dollars in order to defend this type of Legislation in the courts,” said Scott. “This legislation is not in effect anywhere because it is so blatantly unconstitutional.”

However, Hill says the shifting make up of the courts might help his bill hold up.

“We think we can start overturning a lot of these abortion rulings that are killing the unborn,” said Hill.

Similar laws passed in three states were blocked by the courts, a nearly identical bill was vetoed in Ohio.

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