TALLAHASSEE, FL – While the US Department of Justice has filed suit to prevent Texas from enforcing its controversial anti-abortion law, the President of the Florida Senate has hinted that his state could look into putting a similar measure on its books.
“The Texas law represents a new approach,” said Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby). “I think it’s worthwhile to take a look at the Texas law and see if there is more we can do here in Florida.”
Earlier this year, the Texas legislature passed and Gov. Greg abbot signed S.B. 8, a bill that establishes a fetal heartbeat as the indicator of a fetus’ gestational age, and as makes it unlawful for a physician to knowingly “perform or induce an abortion on a pregnant woman until the physician has determined whether the woman’s unborn child has a detectable heartbeat.”
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The measure became effective on Sept. 1.
While the measure has raised controversy nationwide, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a complaint in U.S. District Court Western District of Texas Austin Division asking the court to prevent Texas from enforcing the anti-abortion law on Constitutional grounds.
“It is settled constitutional law that a State may not prohibit any woman from making the ultimate decision to terminate her pregnancy before viability,’” the complaint said. “Texas enacted S.B. 8 in open defiance of the Constitution.”
That case remains pending.
Meanwhile in a written statement, Simpson said that he would back legislation that supports parenthood as an alternative to abortion.
“As an adoptive child myself, it’s important to me that we do everything we can to promote adoption and prevent abortion,” Simpson said.
For now, legislation that mimics the Texas law has not been filed.
Florida’s Legislature reconvenes on Jan. 11, 2022.