Florida bill banning abortions after 6 weeks clears final Senate committee

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – A controversial bill that would ban abortion after the sixth week of pregnancy has cleared another hurdle in the Florida Legislature.

With familiar arguments being held for and against the bill, it cleared a final Senate committee Tuesday along party lines, with one exception.

Freshman Republican State Sen. Alexis Calatayud from Miami voted against the bill.

An overflow crowd and five hours of speakers took place in that committee room as people have been very strong in their convictions on this topic.

“Our state is dripping red with the blood of preborn babies,” said Andrew Shergel with Florida Voice for the Unborn.

The state’s pro-life agenda is spelled out in 11 pages of the bill called “Parenting and Pregnancy Support.”

It has components for just that, but the attention is on shortening Florida’s legal limit to terminate a pregnancy to six weeks, with exceptions for victims of sex crimes, though before some may know they are pregnant and well before in-utero tests provide critical health information.

The senate’s fiscal policy committee had questions regarding the $25 million in the bill for what’s called Pregnancy Help Medical Clinics.

There are 98 in the state that counsel women away from abortion.

There are questions regarding accountability, oversight and lack of licensing requirements.

The bill may go to the Senate floor by the end of the week, but it has one more House committee to clear. The House version is not identical to the Senate version as it does not include the clinic funding. It will have to be amended to match the Senate version if it is going to stay alive.

About the Author:

Glenna Milberg joined Local 10 News in September 1999 to report on South Florida's top stories and community issues. She also serves as co-host on Local 10's public affairs broadcast, "This Week in South Florida."