Florida Republican introduces fetal heartbeat abortion bill
A new fetal heartbeat abortion bill was filed in Florida on Wednesday that has similarities to a controversial measure that took effect in Texas earlier this month.
RELATED: Could Texas-style abortion law come to Florida in 2022?
The bill, HB 167, was introduced in the Florida House of Representatives by State Rep. Webster Barnaby, R-Deltona.
The measure states that an abortion would be prohibited if a physician detects a fetal heartbeat or if the physician fails to conduct a test to detect a heartbeat.
An unborn child's heartbeat is usually detected around six weeks, which is a time when many women aren't even aware they are pregnant.
READ THE FULL BILL BELOW:
Florida currently bans abortions after 24 weeks.
The new bill would impose civil penalties with "damages in the amount of at least $10,000 for each abortion that the defendant performed or induced and for each abortion the defendant aided or abetted."
The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit in an attempt to block the Texas law, calling it "blatantly unconstitutional."
Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson said this month that "the Texas law represents a new approach" and called the Supreme Court's refusal to block the law "encouraging."
Meanwhile, Democrats have called a Texas-style abortion law "an assault on women's rights."
If the measure is passed in the upcoming Florida legislative session, it would take effect July 1, 2022.
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