Florida House Committee Passes Bill to Ban Abortions After 15 Weeks, Saving 5,000 Babies Every Year

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 10, 2022   |   4:07PM   |   Tallahassee, Florida

A bill on its way to the Florida House for a final vote this week would protect thousands of unborn babies from abortions every year.

News 4 JAX reports the state House Health and Human Services Committee voted 14-7 along party lines Thursday to advance the bill to the full House for approval.

The Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality Act (House Bill 5) would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Exceptions would be allowed if the mother’s life is at risk or the unborn baby has a fatal disorder. The bill also includes measures to reduce infant mortality and a requirement that abortion facilities report suspected human trafficking cases to the state.

By 15 weeks, unborn babies already are nearly fully developed. According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, unborn babies have every major organ at this stage, and the heart pumps about 26 quarts of blood each day. On ultrasound screens, parents can see their 15-week unborn babies sucking their thumbs, smiling or yawning, and scientists have observed that they already show a preference for their right or left hand.

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Currently, abortions are legal for any reason up to 24 weeks in Florida.

Prior to the vote, Democrats on the committee argued that the bill is unconstitutional because it prohibits abortions before viability, according to the news report.

“Once again, we’ll be passing unconstitutional legislation that will also cost Floridians more money and time while we have real serious issues,” said state Rep. Michele Rayner, D-St. Petersburg.

However, many believe the U.S. Supreme Court may uphold a Mississippi ban on abortions after 15 weeks later this summer and allow other states to enact similar pro-life laws. The case is Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health.

State Rep. Will Robinson, R-Bradenton, said he wants Florida to be ready to protect the unborn in the likelihood that the Supreme Court does overturn or chip away at Roe v. Wade, the news report continues.

“I disagree with some of my colleagues,” Robinson said. “That actually, if this bill becomes law, I want to see Florida join Mississippi and the Dobbs decision to allow the Supreme Court to readdress, in my view, the arbitrary viability standard in Roe.

The legislation has a good chance of passing the Republican-controlled state legislature. A Senate version of the bill advanced in committee last week, and Gov. Ron DeSantis recently “welcomed” pro-life legislation. Polls consistently show strong public support for banning abortion after the first trimester as well.

Andrew Shirvell, executive director of Florida Voice for the Unborn, said the legislation could save approximately 5,000 unborn babies every year.

“Florida Voice for the Unborn thanks the state House of Representatives’ Health and Human Services Committee for voting this morning to advance House Bill 5 …” Shirvell said, adding that the bill “will save an estimated 5,000 unborn children from being murdered here in Florida via brutal late-term abortions.”

Currently, states are prohibited from banning abortions before viability, about 22 weeks of pregnancy. Under Roe, states may allow unborn babies to be aborted for basically any reason up to birth. Since 1973, nearly 63.5 million unborn babies have died in supposedly “safe, legal” abortions.

TAKE ACTION: To support the bill please Contact Florida House lawmakers.