A state House committee in Florida approved legislation today that would ban abortions if done on the basis of the sex or race of the unborn baby.
The Associated Press has more details on the vote:
Both sides in the impassioned debate called it abhorrent to base an abortion on gender or race, but they bickered over specifics of the bill. The proposal would punish abortion providers for knowingly terminating pregnancies because of the unborn child’s race or because the parents wanted a boy but were going to have a girl, or vice versa.
“The purpose of this legislation is to protect unborn children from prenatal discrimination through abortions based on the child’s sex or race,” said Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Keystone Heights, the bill’s lead sponsor.
Opponents called it an unwarranted intrusion into a woman’s reproductive decision and into the doctor-patient relationship.
“This bill is taking us down that road of inserting government back into the lives of women at a time when they need privacy the most,” said Rep. Dave Kerner, D-Lake Worth.
The measure (HB 845) cleared the House Judiciary Committee by a slim margin after a lengthy debate.
It would require abortion providers to sign an affidavit stating they had no knowledge the procedure was being done based on the unborn child’s sex or race. Providers would be slapped with a $10,000 fine for failing to report such abortions.
It’s amazing that in this day and age of racial and sexual sensitivity that lawmaker would argue the race or gender of a baby is justification for an abortion.
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Gaetz said he thought the issue should be one that bridges opposing sides in the abortion debate.
“Can we at least say that we’re not going to abort a little child because they are a boy and you want a girl, or because it’s a girl and you want a boy, or because of the race of the child,” he said.
The panel also approved a bill (HB 759) to hold criminals accountable for killing unborn children in the course of a crime against the mother.