FLORIDA POLITICS – A bill that would ban disability abortions in Florida cleared its first committee stop on Thursday.
The Professions & Public Health Subcommittee OK’d the bill (HB 1221) with an 11-7 vote. Rep. Erin Grall, a Vero Beach Republican, is the bill sponsor.
Grall’s proposal would prohibit a physician from performing an abortion if they know or should know that a woman’s decision is based on a test result or diagnosis that suggests a disability.
The bill makes exceptions for abortions deemed necessary to save a woman’s life. It also extends immunity to a woman if they violate or conspire to violate the provision.
“For those of you that feel as strongly as we do that abortion is health care, there are many of us that don’t feel that the killing of a child can ever be health care,” Grall said.
According to the bill, the prohibition would apply to defects, diseases and disorders including but not limited to:
— A physical disability
— A mental or intellectual disability
— A physical disfigurement
— Down syndrome
— A physical or mental disease
The bill drew stiff opposition from Democrats and civil liberty activists.
Democratic Rep. Michelle Rayner of St. Petersburg voted against the proposal.
She fears the legislation would disproportionally impact minority communities.
“As a woman who works in dependency court, I can tell you that black kids are not getting adopted,” Rayner said. “And I can tell you that black kids with disabilities are not getting adopted.”
Democratic Rep. Kelly Skidmore of Boca Raton also voted against the measure …
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