TALLAHASSEE, FLA. (WSVN) - A new bill is making its way to the Florida legislature that could significantly tighten abortion laws in the state. The proposed bill would ban abortions past 6 weeks, with exceptions only in cases where the life of the mother is at risk or in cases of rape or incest.

Lawmakers held a committee meeting to discuss their decision with the public, Thursday. If an agreement on the details of the proposed bill is made, it is highly likely to become law.

House Bill 7, introduced last week, is just the latest in a series of efforts by conservative lawmakers to restrict access to abortion across the United States. On Wednesday, a Texas judge heard arguments challenging an abortion pill to be sold in the state.

In recent years, states like Kansas, Texas and Georgia have passed similarly restrictive laws, sparking legal challenges and public outcry.

Opponents of the bill argued that it violates women’s rights and could have serious consequences for their health and wellbeing. They point out that many women may not even realize they are pregnant at six weeks, which could make it impossible for them to seek an abortion in time.

“Being six weeks pregnant does not mean you have six weeks to get an abortion,” said one woman who opposed the bill at the meeting. “I cannot stress this enough, everyone everywhere deserves access to abortion. The narrow exceptions of this bill are also insidiously designed to be unworkable for Floridians who are in need of the most help. Rape is known to be one of the underreported crimes.”

Another woman spoke about her experience with her abortion 10 years ago and how impactful it was on her life.

“I did not want to lose that baby, but the doctors had to give me a treatment to save my life so that I would not die of sepsis,” she said. “Because of the laws of 2013, I was able to receive the care that was needed. We are still human. We matter. This six-week abortion ban would kill more women.”

Proponents of the bill argue that it is necessary to protect the lives of unborn children and promote a culture of life. They believe that abortion should only be allowed in cases where the mother’s life is in danger or in cases of rape or incest.

“We support this bill wholeheartedly and are excited about the fact that Florida has become an abortion destination,” said a woman who supportd the bill. “We’re hoping that this six-week bill will save more lives and prevent a lot more broken hearts from women who have come into this state and have an abortion.”

A man spoke on behalf of Florida Voice for the Unborn, an organization against abortions, and shared the group’s support.

“[Our group] supports all of the provisions of House Bill 7 except for Section 3, which needs to be amended, so that all unborn children are legally protected from the moment of conception, without exception,” he said.

In the committee meeting held on Thursday, two amendments of the bill were rejected by the legislators.

The bill under consideration successfully cleared the committee stage and now awaits review by another committee before it can be presented to the entire house for a vote.

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