New Alabama anti-abortion law raises concerns of similar legislation in Florida

(WSVN) - After Alabama’s Republican governor recently signed the strictest abortion legislation in the nation into law, some in the State of Florida wonder if a similar measure could pass here.

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed the legislation into law Wednesday after lawmakers in the state voted to ban nearly all abortions.

The new law would make performing an abortion at any stage of pregnancy a felony unless the woman’s health is at risk.

In Florida, several anti-abortion bills were introduced in the past session, such as House Bill 235, which would have made it illegal for a woman to get an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected.

The bill failed, but U.S. Rep. Mike Hill, R-Fla., who originally introduced the bill, said he plans on introducing it again.

“I do plan to introduce the bill again next year,” said Hill. “It’s gonna have a little change to it, but it is going to be essentially the same bill.”

Hill’s bill had exceptions for rape and incest. However, moving forward, Hill said he plans on taking those exceptions out.

“As horrific and tragic as those instances are of rape and incest, which result in a pregnancy, it is not the fault of that baby in the womb,” said Hill.

Florida State Sen. Lauren Book, who represents Broward County’s District 32, said Alabama is waging a war on women.

“What happened in Alabama is unconscionable,” said Book. “Without a rape or incest exemption is beyond anything that I can conceive to be other than cruel and unusual punishment simply for being a woman.”

Book plans on filing her own piece of legislation to put the choice in the hands of the voters.

She said her bill would give “Floridians the power to make that choice to put on the ballot a measure that would require 50% representation of both House and Senate when making decisions of females’ reproductive health and well-being.”

Archbishop of Miami Thomas Wenski said measures like Hill’s are positive.

“We hope that these laws will eventually go to the Supreme Court, and hopefully, they will help reverse Roe v. Wade,” said Wenski.

Laura Goodhue with Planned Parenthood said the Florida legislature keeps trying to make it harder for women to access abortions, and they will continue to fight every step of the way.

“We need to make sure it remains safe. If abortion is made illegal once again, it won’t stop them from having them,” said Goodhue. “They just won’t have them in the safest way possible.”

When asked about Alabama’s near-total abortion ban, Gov. Ron DeSantis said, “I haven’t followed what’s happening in Alabama, so I don’t know, but I’m pro-life. I look favorably on pro-life legislation, so we’ll see what comes down the pike.”

The latest Florida legislative session wrapped up in May. The next session is scheduled to start in January 2020.

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