For the first time in two years, an abortion-related bill has passed both legislative houses and it is headed to the governor, who has already indicated his praise of a bill that focuses on infants born alive after a failed abortion.
The Senate passed the House version (HB 1129), by a vote of 38-0 on Tuesday without any debate. The House bill, sponsored by Rep. Cary Pigman, R-Avon Park, passed that chamber by a vote of 119-0 on April 17. The Senate companion was sponsored by Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami.
The bill has had rare bipartisan support. Even Planned Parenthood withdrew its opposition early on after a provision severing parental rights was removed.The measure requires health providers to give any infant born alive emergency medical care or face criminal penalties. The bill requires that cases of live births following an abortion attempt be reported.
A failed abortion could result in a live birth in a late-term abortion, which can only be performed if two physicians agree the mother's life is at risk, or if the mother was further into her pregnancy than thought.
Gov. Rick Scott said earlier this month that he looks "forward to signing the bill when it reaches my desk."
This year, Florida is one of 42 states considering at least 300 pieces of abortion-related legislation, according to Planned Parenthood, but Pigman's bill looks like the only abortion-related bill that will pass in the state.
Florida lawmakers passed five abortion-related bills in 2011, including a measure that requires women be offered an opportunity to view and hear a description of ultrasound images before receiving an abortion. In 2012, no bills passed.