TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Florida Rep. Charles Van Zant, R., following through on a promise he made last year, announced Jan. 4 that he would be moving forward on his anti-abortion House Bill 1151. The "Florida for Life Act" would make performing abortions a felony and could put doctors behind bars for life.
Rep. Van Zant's HB 1151 states that "the Legislature acknowledges that all persons are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, and that first among these is their right to life." The bill only allows doctors to perform an abortion in cases where a woman is facing a threat to her life if the pregnancy is carried out.
The bill reads:
A termination of pregnancy may not be performed unless:
A. Two physicians certify in writing to the fact that, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the termination of pregnancy is necessary to prevent the death of the patient;
B. Two physicians certify in writing to the fact that, to a reasonable degree of medical certainty, the termination of pregnancy is necessary because to continue the pregnancy would unreasonably reduce the likelihood of successful treatment of a life-threatening disease of the patient; or
C. A physician certifies in writing that a medical emergency existed and another physician was not available for consultation prior to the time necessary to perform the termination of pregnancy. The physician's written certification must clearly describe the medical emergency.
Susannah Randolph of Florida Watch Action, an organization dedicated to strengthening the progressive movement in Florida, said Republican Gov. Rick Scott "and his legislative puppets have waged war on Florida women. Despite their claims that the 2012 legislative session won't focus on extreme and radical social issues, one of the first bills filed by Rep. Charles Van Zant would outlaw abortion even in the most extreme cases of rape and incest."
Additionally, House Bill 1151 mandates that "physicians and personnel at a medical facility ... provide certain women and minors who have been treated by the facility with information regarding adoption and a statewide list of attorneys available to provide volunteer legal services for adoption."
Florida's 2012 Legislative Session is quickly shaping up to be another battle between the GOP and women's rights and other issues important to Florida's working families.