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House Democrats won’t stick together on abortion

Florida House Democratic Leader Kionne McGhee, of Miami, said the caucus will not take an official stance against HB 265.
Rep. Kionne McGhee, D- Miami. [PHIL SEARS  |  AP]
Rep. Kionne McGhee, D- Miami. [PHIL SEARS | AP]
Published Feb. 5

TALLAHASSEE -- Following a week of drama, name-calling and tension in the caucus, the House Democrats will not be taking take a caucus position on a contentious bill that would require parental consent for minors seeking abortions.

House Democratic Leader Kionne McGhee, of Miami, said the caucus will not take an official stance against HB 265, but that “one of the pillars of this caucus is ensuring that a woman’s right to choose is preserved and protected at all cost.”

“It is for that reason ... that we keep our eyes on the ball,” he said. “House Democrats stand with women across this nation to ensure have the right to choose. It is a women’s right, not the government’s right.”

The meeting ended five minutes after it began.

The debate over whether to take a caucus vote had become contentious.

Last week Rep. Kimberly Daniels, D-Jacksonville, held a press conference supporting the parental consent bills and ended in lobbing personal attacks against her own colleagues in the House Democratic Caucus. Rep. James Bush, D-Miami, stood by Daniels in support of the bill.

McGhee later addressed the caucus, calling for unity among members. He said Daniels’ press conference was a “teachable moment.”

The House bill has not yet been scheduled for a floor vote. The Senate version of the bill is expected to be voted on by a full chamber.

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