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The Florida Senate on Thursday took up a bill that would prevent abortions after six weeks of pregnancy and positioned it for an expected vote Monday.
The bill (SB 300), sponsored by Sen. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, is one of the most-controversial issues of this year’s legislative session and comes after the Republican-controlled Legislature in 2022 passed a 15-week limit. GOP senators Thursday rejected a series of proposed changes sought by Democrats.
Earlier Thursday, the House Health & Human Services Committee voted 13-7 along almost-straight party lines to approve the House version of the bill (HB 7).
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Rep. Traci Koster, R-Tampa, joined Democrats in voting against the bill. Republican supporters said the goal is to protect life. “There isn’t a person in this room that didn’t go through a womb to be born,” Rep. Ralph Massullo, R-Lecanto, said. “We’ve heard a lot about people that respect life and want us to respect their rights. Well, we need to respect the rights of the unborn, just as much.”
But opponents said the proposal would deny access to health care for women. “Regulating one’s body is wrong. It’s wrong,” Rep. Marie Woodson, D-Hollywood, said. “We cannot sit here and regulate people’s bodies and make decisions about what a woman should do, because I am not in the position.”
With Thursday’s approval by the committee, the House bill is ready to go to the full House.
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