Florida invoice would prohibit disability abortions – State of Reform

Mansur Shaheen | February 26, 2021

Identical bills filed in Florida would prohibit the practice of “disability abortion”. If the bills go through, a doctor who performs or induces an abortion for a disability could potentially face criminal prosecution, even though the women who are being aborted would be safe from punishment.

Representative Erin Grall submitted HB 1221 on Tuesday. Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez presented the identical SB 1664 on Thursday.

The bill defines a disability abortion as an abortion that a woman aspires to only because she knows that her baby may be born with a disability. The disabilities listed in the bill are physical disabilities, physical disfigurements, Down’s syndrome, scoliosis, dwarfism, albinism, Amelie, or a physical or mental illness.

Women who have to terminate their pregnancy because of the potential risk of childbirth receive a legal exception.

Under the law, a doctor who performs an abortion for a disability is charged with a third-degree crime. If the woman dies during the abortion, the doctor will be charged with a second degree crime.

The bill has critics. Laura Goodhue, executive director of the Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, told State of Reform:

“This bill is about restricting abortion, not protecting people with disabilities. This is not a policy promoted by disability rights groups. This is yet another attempt at putting politics where it doesn’t belong – in the most sensitive situations between a patient and their doctor.

Florida law has and will do everything it can to prevent access to abortion in our state, and this inflammatory bill only makes that clearer. This is just another unconstitutional abortion ban proposed in Florida. “

This is the second bill Senator Rodriguez tabled this year to adjust the legal abortion threshold in the state of Florida. She submitted in January SB 744, a bill banning the abortion of an unborn child determined to experience pain.

Goodhue continued:

“What’s worse, it could lead to costly litigation. This legislation should focus on the devastating health and economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic, not another restriction on abortion that will result in the state having to spend our tax dollars trying to defend the law in court. “

Currently, a woman in Florida can have an abortion at any point during the first two trimesters. They are allowed to have an abortion in the third trimester if they are given a medical exemption.

While the number of abortions performed across the country has decreased across the country, there has been one slight increase in abortions in Florida in the past few years.

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