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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Fetal pain abortion bill passes House committee



Bills that would require women to get an ultrasound and be offered an explanation of it before getting an abortion are rolling through the legislature this year. Now, bills that would add a discussion of fetal pain between a doctor and a patient before some abortions is on the move.

Carlos Truijillo, R-Miami, presented HB321 at a the House Health and Human Services subcommittee on Tuesday. It passed its first stop by a 10 to 4 vote. The bill originally called for a ban on all abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy because of concerns about pain the fetus might feel. But Trujillo modified the bill so that at 22 weeks doctors would have to share research on fetal pain with patients and offer to give the unborn baby an anesthesia.

Truillo said even stray animals are given anesthesia before being euthanized. "Give those children the same diginty and respect we give to stray dogs and stray cats," he said. 

Democrats on the committee argued that the bill is an intrusion of government into health care.  Rep. Elaine Schwartz, D-Hollywood, called it socialist. "We should not be debating this. This is not a subject for a committee of the Florida legislature to be discussing," she said.  

Maureen Ahern, the wife of Rep. Larry Ahern, R-St. Petersburg, testified in support of the bill, saying: "Abortion is not health care."

Other supporters argued that it's the job of the Legislature to protect all residents, including unborn children.

Sen. Ronda Storms, R-Valrico, has a similar bill in the Senate.


[Last modified: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 11:43am]


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