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Florida Republican introduces fetal heartbeat abortion bill

Published: Sep. 22, 2021 at 1:41 PM EDT
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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.

Scripps Only Content 2021