It didn’t take long for Florida Republicans to follow Texas’s lead by introducing a strict anti-abortion law.
The reality is, they want to remind pregnant women who’s in charge around here.
Rep. Webster Barnaby of Deltona filed HB 167 Wednesday, the latest move by freedom-loving Republicans. It would outlaw abortions if doctors detect a fetal heartbeat, which can occur before a woman even knows she is pregnant.
If passed, it would create the Texas-style vigilantes here. It would empower them to sue the doctor, and anyone else involved in an abortion.
Republicans love freedom, huh?
It infringes on their freedom if they’re required to wear a mask in public to protect against COVID-19.
Providing proof that they had a COVID-19 vaccination before boarding a cruise ship so they won’t transmit a deadly virus to other passengers also infringes on their freedom.
Suppose they’re required to have a vaccination as a condition for keeping their job. No way! FREEDOM!
But, taking away a woman’s control over her own body in her most vulnerable moment is hunky-dory. Subjecting her to some citizen yahoo stalker who can sue anyone involved in an abortion, even, it seems, an Uber driver, is peachy keen.
The bill almost certainly won’t pass as filed. I guess that’s the semi-silver lining here.
Sen. Kathleen Passidomo previously said she won’t support a “cut and paste” of the Texas law. She is in line to become Senate President if Republicans keep control of the chamber in 2022.
“I am pro-life, but I am not pro-telling on your neighbors,” the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reported she said in a recent speech.
However, it’s precisely the vigilante part of the Texas law that makes this a confusing issue for the courts. By taking actions out of the hands of law enforcement, the state is not involved in prohibiting abortion.
The U.S. Supreme Court recently declined to block that law but stressed it was a matter of judicial procedure. The justices didn’t rule on the constitutionality of the law but said it had to face “procedurally proper challenges.”
While that plays out, though, Tallahassee will fiddle, burn, and throw more logs on the fire.
Barnaby, meanwhile, has been down this legislative road before.
In the most recent Session, he filed a bill to prohibit abortion of unborn children capable of feeling pain.
It died in committee.
Another one of his bills would have stopped physicians from “performing or inducing, or attempting to perform or induce, disability abortion.”
That, too, died in committee.
Republicans have long made this issue a rallying cry, as we know. It would be nice if they cared as much about what happens after the mother and infant leave the hospital.
Florida’s foster care system is a train wreck, as USA Today reported in March.
The state agencies sent nearly 170 children to live in foster homes where the state had some evidence that abuse occurred.
The newspaper said caseworkers put children into foster homes not equipped to handle them, violating state guidelines.
Nearly 55% of Florida’s 4 million children are either living in or near poverty. One in five Florida children suffers from food insecurity.
But hey, let’s not talk about that, right, Rep. Barnaby?
Nope. Let’s just show all those women out there that you’re pro-birth.
However, as far as life, well, babies are on their own once they exit the womb.
You know, freedom.