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Florida bill reducing abortion time limit to 15 weeks clears first committee in state legislature

Published: Jan. 19, 2022 at 5:55 PM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CAP NEWS/WCJB) - The proposed abortion legislation shaves nine weeks off a woman’s right to legally abort.

“I think fifteen weeks is plenty of time for a woman to know she is pregnant,” says bill sponsor Senator Kelli Stargel.

The 15 weeks was chosen because a similar Mississippi statute is already awaiting validation or rejection by the US Supreme Court.

Stargel says it also makes sense from the fetus’s development.

“I think recognizing that this is a baby and at fifteen weeks those babies have eyelashes, eyebrows, and fingers and all of those types of things. We want to make sure that If someone is going to make a determination, they make it early on, not later.”

Tampa Obstetrician Dr. Haywood Brown says while most women will know they are pregnant at 15 weeks, others will not.

“We still have a lot of women who do not seek care in the first trimester, so there’s a lot of denial.”

Dozens of speakers were given just thirty seconds to make their case.

The bill will undergo five hearings in the Senate.

Democrat Anna Eskamani calls out the quick scheduling of the bill in lawmakers’ second week.

“Florida Republicans are fast-tracking this anti-abortion bill.”

She also knows she and her fellow Democrats are outnumbered.

“We can expect this bill to get to the House Floor. We’re going to do everything we can to amplify public opinion.”

The first committee approved the legislation on a party-line vote.

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