TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Florida’s House Republicans voted to ban doctors from ending a pregnancy involving a fetus that would be born with a disability.
The House passed the anti-abortion bill on a 74-44 vote on Friday despite Democratic opposition.
A disability abortion, as defined by the bill, means “an abortion in which the physician performing the termination of pregnancy knows, or should know, that the pregnant woman is seeking the termination…solely on the basis of a prenatal diagnosis, test or screening indicating a disability or the potential for a disability in the fetus.”
According to the bill’s text, disability refers to “any disease, defect or disorder that is genetically inherited including, but not limited to” a physical disability, a mental or intellectual disability, a physical disfigurement, Down syndrome, scoliosis, dwarfism, albinism, amelia or a physical or mental disease.
Doctors who do perform such abortions would be guilty of a felony punishable by up to five years in prison.
To defend the bill, Republicans read Bible quotes and made comparisons to Nazi Germany and Chinese population control policies. Democrats argued that the state has no business inserting itself in such personal decisions, and that lawmakers in favor are hypocritical because Florida doesn’t do enough to help people with disabilities.