© 2021 All Rights reserved WUSF
News, Jazz, NPR
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Health News Florida
Get the latest coverage of the 2021 Florida legislative session in Tallahassee from our coverage partners and WUSF.

Florida House OKs Bill To Ban Abortions Based On Disability

The measure would prevent doctors from performing abortions that women seek because of tests showing that fetuses will have disabilities.

After an often-emotional debate, the Florida House on Friday overwhelmingly passed a bill that would prevent doctors from performing abortions that women seek because of tests showing that fetuses will have disabilities.

The Republican-controlled House voted 74-44, largely along party lines, to approve the bill (HB 1221), sponsored by Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach.

The bill addresses what it describes as “disability abortions,” which would involve situations in which physicians know pregnant women are seeking abortions because fetuses will have disabilities.

Such disabilities could include such things as physical disabilities, intellectual or mental disabilities or Down syndrome.

With one week in the legislative session, the Senate has not moved forward with such a bill --- making it unlikely that a measure will ultimately pass.

But Grall’s bill drew heavy debate.

“We have a duty to protect innocent life,” said Rep. Clay Yarborough, a Jacksonville Republcian who supported the bill.

Rep. Kelly Skidmore, D-Boca Raton, said the bill was about banning abortions.

“A ban is a ban is a ban is a ban. Abortion is health care, abortion is health care, abortion is health care,” she said.

Republicans Mike Caruso of Delray Beach, Sam Killebrew of Winter Haven and Rene Plasencia of Orlando joined Democrats in opposing the bill. Miami Democrat James Bush voted for it.

Copyright 2021 Health News Florida

WUSF 89.7 depends on donors for the funding it takes to provide you the most trusted source of news and information here in town, across our state, and around the world. Support WUSF now by giving monthly, or make a one-time donation online.