A bill that would ban abortion after six weeks and criminalize the medical procedure was filed in the Florida House yesterday, the same day a federal judge in Atlanta temporarily blocked similar legislation in Georgia.
State Rep. Mike Hill — a man who claims God speaks to him — filed the legislation, known as HB 271. The bill would effectively ban all abortions in Florida after six weeks and remove all exceptions, including instances of rape and incest, or if a woman's life was at risk if the pregnancy were brought to full term.
The bill would also make abortion a felony in the third degree, which is punishable by up to five years in prison. It's unclear if the law would apply to patients or only to abortion providers. As currently written, the bill says that "any person who willfully performs, or actively participates in, a termination of pregnancy" would be in violation of the law.
Florida is one of as many as 30 states that have introduced anti-abortion legislation this year. HB 271 uses inflammatory rhetoric that medical experts say is inaccurate and purposefully misleading in an attempt to overturn the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade, which legalized access to safe abortions. Hill's proposal is one of many anti-abortion bills newly filed in Florida, including the reintroduction of a bill that would require parental consent before a minor could access abortion care.
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Some Florida lawmakers have already taken to social media to express their opposition to HB 271, including Orlando Rep. Anna Eskamani, who worked at Planned Parenthood for six years.
"Instead of respecting an individual's decision, anti-abortion opponents from across the country have resorted to inflammatory, shaming rhetoric, and extreme laws that punish women and criminalize providers," Eskamani tweeted.
Today extreme legislation that among many things would ban access to a safe and legal abortion after six weeks has been filed in the FL House. This means that in total 3 bills have been filed to restrict access to a safe and legal abortion in FL. Our statement ???????? #StopTheBans pic.twitter.com/1tS1XmaPfE— Rep. Anna V. Eskamani ???? (@AnnaForFlorida) October 1, 2019
If Georgia's six-week abortion bill is any indication, Florida could face serious financial consequences if it were to pass such an extreme anti-abortion bill. After its passage, Georgia's law triggered widespread condemnation and threats of boycott from companies such as Disney and Netflix.