A Florida lawmaker says abortions should be banned unless the mother is at risk.

This week marked the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, the landmark ruling upholding abortion rights, but neither the anniversary, nor the ruling prevented state Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Keystone Heights, from filing a bill to make abortions in Florida much more difficult to get.

Van Zant wants to ban abortions altogether, unless the life of the mother is at risk.

Even then, the bill, H.B. 395, also calls for a ban of induced abortions, which rely on medication. That means doctors would have to use much more invasive and painful surgical methods.

"If we'll lead with some courage and moral conviction, then more healthy babies can be born in Florida and they'll grow up and they'll have jobs in our state and we'll leave a better legacy for Florida," said Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican of Ft. Walton Beach.

Pro-choice advocates have begun attacking the bill as an assault on women's rights, and they're gearing up for what could be an emotional legislative battle.

"This issue has been dealt with time and time again and to keep bringing it back and hoping for a different outcome is, really, kind of a waste of taxpayer dollars," said Karen Woodall with the Florida Center for Fiscal & Economic Policy.


House Bill 395

"Creates 'Florida for Life Act'; provides legislative findings; prohibits induced abortions; prohibits operation of facility for purpose of providing abortion services; prohibits termination of pregnancy unless specified conditions are met; requires informed consent; provides exception; provides standard of care if fetus is viable; requires that fetal remains be disposed of according to specified standards; excludes specified procedures from application of requirements; repeals provisions relating to termination of pregnancies & abortion referral or counseling agencies; repeals Partial-Birth Abortion Act; requires statewide list of attorneys providing volunteer legal services for women with unwanted pregnancies who would have selected abortion, if lawful, rather than adoption; provides that all federal moneys received by state as result of efforts made by Office of Adoption & Child Protection be used for specified purposes; provides restrictions on use of state & federal funds for state exchanges that provide coverage for induced abortions & termination of pregnancies under certain conditions; provides certain provisions only take effect if other provisions are declared unconstitutional or had enforcement enjoined; provides that certain repeals & amendments in act may be void in other such circumstances."


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