Another controversial anti-abortion bill will grace Florida’s Legislative Session this year.
The bill, which has not yet been filed, was announced at a news conference on Wednesday by Miami-Dade Rep. David Borrero. It is being called the Florida Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.
The legislation would prohibit abortions beyond five months of pregnancy.
“Just because we haven’t passed this critical legislation when it’s been attempted before, doesn’t mean we can’t get it done,” Borrero, a Republican, said. “That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t begin to recognize the life of the unborn, who are capable of pain.”
Supporters of the measure argue advances in medicine allow for the survival of extremely premature babies outside of the womb.
Republican members of the Florida Legislature have pushed for similar legislation in the past, but were unsuccessful. However, with the recent change in the partisan makeup of the House to a near supermajority (78-42), the bill may have more support.
The bill has already received pushback from abortion-rights advocates, including Rep. Anna Eskamani.
“Time and time again, we see our Republican colleagues attempt to restrict access to safe and legal abortion, judge and stigmatize women who make this decision and get in between a woman, her family, her doctor and her faith,” Eskamani said.
The Democratic representative was a vocal opponent of last year’s controversial anti-abortion legislation requiring parental consent for a minor to receive an abortion. The legislation passed.
Florida’s current law prohibits third-trimester abortions except in the case of a medical emergency, where two physicians must certify that the procedure will save the woman’s life.
Last year, Florida reported about 65,000 abortions. About 6% were performed during the second trimester of pregnancy, according to the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration.