TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (Jan. 3, 2016) – A bill prefiled in the Florida House would outlaw most abortions, nullifying the Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade.
Charles Van Zant (R – Palatka) filed House Bill 865 (HB865) on Dec. 2. Titled the “Florida for Life Act,” the legislation would prohibit abortions, with exceptions for the life and health of the mother.
The proposed law rests on a precise legal definition of life established within the legislative language.
“Human life” means a human person and is the biological development of the species homo sapiens that begins when a human egg is fertilized by a human sperm and continues to develop as a living organism.
Any person performing an abortion outside of the specified exceptions could be charged with a first degree felony under the law. It would also make it a felony to operate any facility, business or service for the purpose of providing induced abortions.
Along with limiting abortion, HB865 creates a structure to provide services if a pregnant woman wants to put her baby up for adoption.
Passage of the bill would undoubtedly set up a confrontation between the state of Florida and the federal government. The Supreme Court has held that states cannot regulate abortions before a fetus is “viable” – generally around 22 weeks.
The opinion of Supreme Court judges notwithstanding, the federal government lacks any constitutional authority to regulate abortions. This clearly falls within the objects James Madison said would remain with the state…