New Florida Abortion Bill Brought By Republican Would Leave No Exception For Rape Or Incest

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TALLAHASSEE, FLA. 1/4/23-Rep. David Borrero, R-Sweetwater, during the Local Administration, Federal Affairs & Special Districts Subcommittee, Wednesday at the Capitol in Tallahassee. COLIN HACKLEY PHOTO

Republican Rep. David Borrero introduced House Bill 1519, which says, “a person or an entity may not purposely perform or attempt to perform an abortion except to save the life of a pregnant woman in a medical emergency.”

Right now, Florida bans most abortions after 15 weeks but takes into exception victims of rape and incest.

This bill would take away that exception.

“These are really hard moments where a woman and her family should make decisions without political interference,” Democratic Rep. Anna Eskamani said.

Borrero argues that “denying personhood for any stage past fertilization is a denial of rights guaranteed in the State Constitution and the United States Constitution.”

Borrero wants House Bill 1519 to replace the six-week abortion ban approved in 2023.

That bill is still up for question in the Supreme Court over whether the right to privacy enshrined in the state Constitution includes a right to abortion.

It’s one reason why House Speaker Paul Renner told the media he doesn’t believe this bill will make it all the way.

“Culturally, I don’t think we’re in a place where we’re ready to take that step. In a perfect world, I’d love to see there’d be no abortions. We live in a fallen world, not a perfect world,” he said.

House Bill 1519 also calls for physicians who attempt to perform an abortion to be charged with a third-degree felony – facing a fine of up to $100,000 and a prison sentence of up to ten years.

The bill goes on to say it would be illegal for any person or manufacturer to sell abortion pills knowing it’s likely to be used in the state of Florida.

Eskamani says she fears how that might lead to an invasion of privacy.

“Because does that mean someone’s going to check your mail to see what you’ve received? How are they going to know that you’ve even been able to access medication abortion at home?” Eskamani asked.

The Florida Supreme Court is set to hear oral arguments next month over whether an abortion rights state constitutional amendment would qualify to appear on the November general election ballot.