TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The Florida House of Representatives could give final approval Thursday to a bill seeking to prevent abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
House Bill 7 has garnered outrage from abortion rights supporters from outside the Florida State Capitol to inside the senate chamber.
“It is a cruel and inhumane bill for the women of Florida,” said State Sen. Lori Berman (D-Boynton Beach).
The legislation would allow abortions to be performed up to six weeks of pregnancy, with exemptions for a mother who faces life-threatening harm or is a victim of rape, incest or human trafficking.
On April 3, the Florida senate voted 26-13 to approve the six-week limit, and the Republican-controlled house is expected to follow suit Thursday.
“For 50 years the killing of innocent children has been legal,” said Sen. Erin Grall (R-Fort Pierce). “Legal does not equate to right.”
Sen. Lauren Book (D-Broward County) disagreed, saying, “If you vote for this ban things will get worse.”
“Women will get sick, women will become disabled, women will face medical bankruptcy, [and] women will die,” she continued.
With the bill expected to soon be headed to the governor’s desk, advocates at the Tampa Bay Abortion Fund are now planning to take matters into their own hands.
“We’re going to be maybe driving them to an airport, funding their hotel ticket in other state to help them access care,” McKenna Kelley said. “For us what this means is much, much more of our funding will go into this practical support.”
If passed, this legislation will still face a major caveat. The Florida Supreme Court already agreed to take up a legal challenge to Florida’s 15-week abortion ban.
A key issue in that case is whether the limit violates a privacy clause in the Florida constitution. So legalizing this 6-week abortion ban would be contingent on the Florida Supreme Court effectively upholding the 15-week law.