Florida Bill Would Ban Abortions When Unborn Baby’s Heart Begins Beating

State   Micaiah Bilger   Oct 2, 2019   |   6:07PM    Tallahassee, FL

Florida lawmakers will consider a bill this fall to ban abortions once an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable.

The Miami New Times reports state Rep. Mike Hill filed state House Bill 271 Tuesday, adding Florida to a growing list of states hoping to restore unborn babies’ right to life.

The bill would ban abortions after an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable, about six weeks of pregnancy. It also would allow charges to be brought against “any person who willfully performs, or actively participates in, a termination of pregnancy.”

Earlier this year, Hill said he felt God call him to introduce legislation to protect babies in the womb. He previously introduced a similar bill, but it did not move forward in committee.

Already, pro-abortion lawmakers are lobbying against the legislation. Orlando state Rep. Anna Eskamani, a former Planned Parenthood employee, blasted the pro-life effort on Twitter, according to the local news.

“Instead of respecting an individual’s decision, anti-abortion opponents from across the country have resorted to inflammatory, shaming rhetoric, and extreme laws that punish women and criminalize providers,” Eskamani wrote.

Earlier this week, a federal judge blocked the heartbeat law in Georgia. Other states that have passed heartbeat laws also are facing legal challenges.

Most state lawmakers expected a legal challenge when they passed their heartbeat laws this year. They hope their legislation eventually will make its way to the U.S. Supreme Court and prompt the justices to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Polls suggest Americans support strong abortion restrictions. In May, a Hill-HarrisX survey found that 55 percent of voters said they do not think laws banning abortions after six weeks – when an unborn baby’s heartbeat is detectable – are too restrictive.

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The findings are not unique. Gallup polls consistently have found that a majority of Americans think all or most abortions should be illegal. In 2018, 53 percent of respondents said abortions should be legal in only a few (35 percent) or no circumstances (18 percent).

The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals said the following about its ruling on the six-week abortion ban: “Because there is no genuine dispute that (North Dakota’s law) generally prohibits abortions before viability — as the Supreme Court has defined that concept — and because we are bound by Supreme Court precedent holding that states may not prohibit pre-viability abortions, we must affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment to the plaintiffs.”

Ultimately, the decision rests with the U.S. Supreme Court. Some pro-lifers have renewed hope that the new conservative-majority Supreme Court will uphold an abortion ban and overturn Roe v. Wade.

Others, however, are not so sure. The high court recently refused to hear several abortion cases, including an Indiana law that would have banned discriminatory abortions based on an unborn baby’s sex, race or disability. Because of the court’s decision, the laws remain blocked. Additionally, when abortion activists succeed in their legal challenges, state taxpayers often are forced to reimburse pro-abortion groups for their legal fees.