January 29, 2016
Both HB 1411 (Burton) and its Senate companion, SB 1722 (Stargel), cleared their first committees of reference this week. The House bill was passed by the Health Quality Subcommittee (7-6); the Senate bill passed the Health Policy Committee (5-3).
The bills address several areas of concern with regard to abortions that occur in Florida. Provisions include:
Requiring that clinics have transfer agreements and physicians who perform abortions have admitting privileges with hospitals within 30 minutes by emergency vehicle.
Prohibiting the sale or transfer, and establishing criteria for proper disposal, of fetal remains obtained through abortion.
Prohibiting public funding for an organization that owns, operates, or is affiliated with a licensed abortion clinic, with some exceptions.
Ingrid Delgado, FCCB associate for social concerns/respect life, expressed support for both bills before both House and Senate committees.
Another abortion measure, HB 865 (Van Zant), also passed its first committee with a vote of 8-3. Termed the "Florida for Life Act," this bill prohibits induced abortions with limited exceptions. This is the first year this measure, which has been filed consistently for several years, has seen any movement. A similar bill, SB 1718 (Evers) has not been heard in committee.