Florida Senate Committee Passes Bill to Ban Abortions after 15 Weeks, Save 5,000 Babies

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 21, 2022   |   9:13PM   |   Tallahassee, Florida

A Florida bill that would protect thousands of unborn babies every year by banning abortions after 15 weeks is on its way to the state Senate for a final vote.

On Monday, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted along party lines to approve the Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality Act (House Bill 5), according to Florida Politics.

The pro-life bill passed the state House last week, and it is expected to pass the Senate soon. Gov. Ron DeSantis, a pro-life Republican, also supports the bill.

Prior to the vote Monday, state Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, said the U.S. Supreme Court has acknowledged that states have a legitimate interest in protecting unborn babies’ lives.

“This isn’t about me and my personal belief [that] life begins at conception,” Stargel told the committee. “It comes from us as a nation in protecting vulnerable people and the potentiality of life.”

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Stargel said Florida law protects migratory birds, their eggs and nests from destruction, and it should do the same with babies in the womb.

TAKE ACTION: To support this bill please Contact Florida state senators.

“I feel it’s only prudent that we take the regulating of humans just as seriously and making sure that we protect those babies,” she said.

Several Democrat lawmakers proposed amendments to weaken the bill, but Republican committee leaders rejected each one, according to the report.

Meanwhile, pro-abortion activists are slamming the bill as oppressive and unconstitutional, including the billion-dollar abortion chain Planned Parenthood and the ACLU.

“This bill is forced pregnancy, forced birth (and) and literally forced labor,” said ACLU of Florida legislative director Kara Gross. “There is no greater government intrusion.”

Planned Parenthood blasted the bill as extreme on Twitter, while exposing its own radical goal to legalize abortions without limits up to birth. “There is no such thing as a reasonable abortion ban!!” the abortion chain shared.

The pro-life bill would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy in Florida. Exceptions would be allowed if the mother’s life is at risk or the unborn baby has a fatal disorder. The bill, which would go into effect July 1, also includes measures to reduce infant mortality and a requirement that abortion facilities report suspected human trafficking cases to the state.

Pro-life leaders estimate the bill could save as many as 5,000 unborn babies from abortions every year, and its lead sponsor, Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, expressed strong hopes that the U.S. Supreme Court soon will rule such legislation constitutional.

“There’s significant fetal development by the age of 15 weeks. But there is also a case in front of the U.S. Supreme Court, currently under consideration, at 15 weeks,” Grall said earlier this month. “… working within that infrastructure of 15 weeks gives Florida its best opportunity to save a significant number of babies, very quickly, after the court’s decision.”

The Supreme Court heard a case involving a Mississippi ban on abortions after 15 weeks in December, and a ruling is likely in June. Because of the conservative majority on the high court, many hope the justices will uphold the law and allow states to protect unborn babies again.

Currently, Florida allows abortions for any reason up to 24 weeks.

The legislation appears likely to become law. State Senate President Wilton Simpson supports the pro-life bill, according to Florida Politics, and DeSantis recently said he “welcomed” pro-life legislation. Polls consistently show strong public support for banning abortion after the first trimester as well.

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 this bill please Contact Florida state senators.