The first bill to restrict abortion in Florida following in the footsteps of Texas was introduced Wednesday in the Florida Congress. Both chambers of the state legislature are in the hands of the Republican Party.
The so-called “Heartbeat” bill, introduced by African-American FL Rep. Webster Barnaby, requires a doctor to test and inform a woman seeking an abortion of the presence of a fetal heartbeat, which is detectable at six weeks of pregnancy.
The bill prohibits physicians from performing or inducing an abortion if a fetal heartbeat is detected, but provides exceptions in the case of rape, incest, domestic violence, human trafficking or a condition that threatens the mother.
Women invoking such exceptions would be required to present documentation, such as a restraining order, medical record, or court order, to have a legal abortion.
Under this bill, lawsuits can be filed for violations and there is the possibility of civil remedies and damages.