A bill introduced in the Florida Legislature would ban abortions in the state before the moment of fetal viability — the early stages of pregnancy. If passed, the bill would leave Floridians in the company of Texans, who have been battling an outright ban on abortion, a ban already thrown out by a federal judge.
Florida Representative Larry Metz introduced HB 1772, which would restrict the use of the abortion pill in the state. Anyone using RU-486 — the name given to the abortion pill — on Florida soil after June 1, 2015, will be prosecuted as “animal mutilation.”
Some have wondered whether SB-8 — passed as part of anti-abortion legislation in Texas and later blocked by a federal judge — is too vague to prevent its passage. Metz’s bill suggests otherwise. According to the Miami Herald, Metz is advancing the bill because he believes “fetal viability is at most 18 weeks” and “being pregnant to the gestational age of a young child is contrary to human dignity.”
Also part of Metz’s bill is a requirement that patients undergo an ultrasound by a doctor. If a doctor does not perform an ultrasound, the patient must receive one in front of a “doctors’ face.” The Texas legislation that is being challenged by Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers stipulates that women must receive an ultrasound before receiving an abortion.
Metz, who is running for a state senate seat in Florida, is in a position to pass the bill. He introduced the bill last year, but it was rejected by the House.
Republican Florida Reps Mia Jones and Kionne McGhee have also introduced a bill that would allow abortions when the foetus is “veinless and without vessels in the brain” and would expand existing exceptions to allow second-trimester abortions.