TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The controversial “Florida Heartbeat Act” filed by a Florida representative on Wednesday requires a physician to conduct a test in order to detect a heartbeat, at which point the abortion would be illegal.
However, according to critics, this bill takes the right away from women to get an abortion before they even know they are pregnant.
Florida State Republican Representative Webster Barnaby from the Central Florida area filed the “Florida Heartbeat Act” on Wednesday — making abortions illegal if a heartbeat is detected.
Much like the controversial Texas abortion law, the Florida bill empowers citizens take legal action against those who aid a woman trying to get an abortion.
“Even the driver that drives someone to go access an abortion can be sued through this bill,” says Mayte Canino, Program Manager of Planned Parenthood in Miami.
Canino says the bill might be the most aggressive attack on abortion rights in the state of Florida.
“What this does is it prohibits abortions before many women even know that they’re pregnant,” she says.
Although the bill provide exceptions in cases of rape, incest, domestic violence, human trafficking, or a condition threatening to the mother, those seeking an exception must provide documentation, such as a police report, restraining order, or medical record.
Critics say the bill strips women of their right to choose.
“Politicians are getting in the way between doctors and their patients,” adds Canino. “If you want to lower the number of abortions, let’s do it through sex education and through access to birth control.”
Local 10 News has reached out to Representative Webster for an interview, but he has not responded to our request for comment.