At least one lawmaker backing legislation reducing the window for abortions in Florida says the proposal does not eliminate women’s abortion rights.
“I don’t believe that it does that at all,” Stargel said. “That woman has every opportunity within that first trimester to make the decision based on whatever criteria she sets for herself and deciding whether or not she wants to continue her pregnancy or whether she doesn’t.”
Stargel, who became pregnant with her first child when she was a teenager and decided to give birth to her daughter, told reporters she believes life begins at conception.
The end of the first trimester coincides with reveal parties, when some parents announce they are having a baby. Because people start going public then, the Senator said those behind the bill believed that was a good deadline.
The measure is also similar to Mississippi’s abortion law, which the U.S. Supreme Court is currently adjudicating. The court’s decision could overturn Roe v. Wade.
“Obviously if the Supreme Court comes out with something, we will adjust accordingly if necessary,” Stargel said. “But at this point, we’re doing what we think is best for the state of Florida and moving forward with our policies of what we think is best for our state.”
During his State of the State address on Tuesday, Gov. Ron DeSantis mentioned support for strengthening protections for “the right to life.”
“I have not seen that particular one, but obviously I’m supportive of 15 weeks,” DeSantis told reporters Wednesday, referring to the Legislature’s abortion proposal. “I mean, I think that’s very reasonable and I think that’s very consistent with, you know, being supportive of protecting life.”
Vero Beach Republican Rep. Erin Grall is carrying the House version of the bill (HB 5), also filed Tuesday.
The legislation also includes other measures to reduce “fetal and infant mortality,” including creating fetal and infant mortality review committees.
“This bill is not necessarily a pro-choice or a pro-life bill,” Stargel said. “It is a bill that’s saying we support children, we support babies, born and unborn, to make sure that the state is focusing on that with our policies.”