Florida Bill Would Ban Late-Term Abortions When Babies are Capable of Feeling Pain

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Jan 13, 2021   |   6:56PM   |   Tallahassee, FL

Florida lawmakers plan to introduce a bill to protect pain-capable unborn babies from late-term abortions this winter.

And after Republican gained seats in the state legislature in the November election, pro-life leaders hope the life-saving bill will pass.

News 5 JAX reports state lawmakers and pro-life leaders announced the Florida Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act online Wednesday. They included state Sens. Ray Rodrigues and Ana Maria Rodriguez, and state Reps. Tommy Gregory and David Borrero.

The pro-life bill would prohibit late-term abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy when scientific evidence indicates unborn babies can feel pain. Because of modern medicine, viability now is very close to 20 weeks as well. A baby born at 21 weeks, zero days gestation survived in Georgia in 2019. He is believed to be the youngest premature baby to survive.

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“I’m proud to be supporting life with my colleagues in the Florida legislature,” Borrero, R-Miami-Dade County, wrote on his Facebook page Wednesday.

“Just because we haven’t passed this critical legislation when it’s been attempted before, doesn’t mean we can’t get it done,” he continued in the online announcement. “That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t begin to recognize the life of the unborn, who are capable of pain.”

Florida Politics reports the bill could pass this year with a new 78-42 Republican majority in the Florida House.

After the announcement, state Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, blasted the pro-life bill, according to the local news. Eskamani used to work for Planned Parenthood.

“Time and time again, we see our Republican colleagues attempt to restrict access to safe and legal abortion, judge and stigmatize women who make this decision and get in between a woman, her family, her doctor and her faith,” she said in a statement.

Florida health authorities reported 65,156 abortions in 2020. If it passes, the legislation could save hundreds of babies’ lives.

Pro-life advocates have been pointing to the evidence of early fetal pain for years, with the hopes of persuading the public to recognize the cruelty of abortion. However, abortion activists and pro-abortion researchers routinely dismiss the scientific evidence with dubious claims that unborn babies do not feel pain until at least 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Last year, a scientific expert in fetal pain published a paper urging the medical community to put politics aside and consider growing evidence that unborn babies may feel pain as early as 12 weeks of pregnancy.

Currently, 16 states have laws that protect pain-capable unborn babies by banning abortions after 20 weeks.