The House is set to take up a Senate bill banning abortion after six weeks, with exceptions for rape, incest and human trafficking victims.
Though outnumbered in the supermajority Republican House, Democrats are floating key changes that are unlikely to be approved, but which aim to make symbolic statements about the legislation.
One suggested change, from Orlando Democratic Rep. Anna V. Eskamani, would change the bill’s title from the “Heartbeat Protection Act” to the “Forced Pregnancy Act.”
Yet another suggested change from Eskamani invokes the Walt Disney Corporation’s subversion of Gov. Ron DeSantis’ takeover of the former Reedy Creek Improvement District, stipulating the law “shall take effect 21 years after the death of the last surviving descendant of King Charles III, King of England, who is alive on July 1, 2023.”
Another Eskamani amendment would require that “any person denied an abortion because the pregnancy is after the gestational age of 6 weeks must be provided a paper document listing lawmakers who voted in favor of banning abortion after 6 weeks with the name of each member of the House of Representatives and Senate who voted in favor” of the bill “and the name of the Governor who signed the bill.”
Another Eskamani edit would stipulate that minors could terminate pregnancies up to the 15-week mark of gestation, which is consistent with the current law passed last year, with a judicial waiver.
Still another Eskamani change would impose a “Clinic Protection Act” section, establishing misdemeanor penalties with fines and jail time for those who interfere with or injure patients or providers or who set out to damage and destroy abortion facilities.
An amendment from Rep. Katherine Waldron would require three months of parental leave for the mother and father in the case of a denied termination of pregnancy.
A second Waldron amendment would compel the father of a baby whose underaged mother was denied an abortion to put up a $300,000 bond for financial support of the mother and imposing a condition of no contact on the father. That bond would be in effect until the child is an adult or can live independently, whichever comes first.
The bill will be on Thursday’s House calendar, where these and other amendments will be considered. Lawmakers will likely pass the bill during Friday’s floor session. The Senate approved the measure 26 to 13 last week.