Conservative Florida lawmakers want a ban on abortions because “all human life comes from the Creator.”
Draconian legislation that would ban most abortions in Florida cleared a House panel on Monday.
Tampa Bay Times reports that by an 8-3 vote Monday afternoon, a House criminal justice panel voted to advance sweeping legislation (HB 865), which would make performing an abortion or operating an abortion clinic a first-degree felony in Florida, punishable by up to 30 years in prison.
Associated Press reports House Bill 865 defines human life as beginning at conception, and would make it a crime to perform an abortion unless two physicians certify in writing that it’s needed to prevent death or serious, permanent injury to the mother.
The bill states:
The Legislature finds that all human life comes from the Creator, has an inherent value that cannot be quantified by man, and begins at the earliest biological development of a fertilized human egg.
The bill goes on to state that:
personal liberty is not a license to kill or otherwise destroy any form of human life…
Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Keystone Heights, the bill’s sponsor, said:
The bill recognizes that both the mother and the baby are citizens of the state of Florida … and we are therefore compelled to protect their lives.
The bill moved forward despite the fact that analysis of the bill by the legislative staff shows the bill as written violates both the Florida Constitution and U.S. Supreme Court decisions.
Even some anti-abortion legislators worry the bill goes too far.
However, Van Zant argues that the bill is constitutional. He said the Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion “is not a law. If it were a law, it would violate the Constitution.”
Rep. Ross Spano, one of the Republicans supporting the draconian legislation, acknowledged that getting the bill through the House and passed into law was a long shot, noting:
The bill, probably, frankly, in all due respect, is never going to get a hearing in the Senate.
Bottom line: House Bill 865 is a terrible bit of anti-abortion propaganda masquerading as legislation, and is an insult to the good citizens of Florida.