Florida Lawmaker Files Texas-Style Abortion Bill

September 22, 2021 by Dan McCue
Florida state Rep. Webster Barnaby (right) with constituents.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A Florida lawmaker has introduced a bill in the state legislature that mirrors controversial restrictions recently signed into law in Texas.

Florida state Rep. Webster Barnaby, a Republican, filed House Bill 167 Wednesday in the hope that it will be signed into law and go into effect by July 1 of 2022.

It would prohibit a pregnant woman from obtaining an abortion after a “fetal heartbeat” is detected, though it would provide an exception in cases where a medical emergency exists. 

As in Texas, the bill would also effectively deputize private citizens, allowing them to sue anyone who knowingly performs an abortion or aids someone seeking or performing an abortion.

What’s more, private citizens would be allowed to sue six years after the alleged violation occurred. Those who prevail in such a lawsuit would be awarded at least $10,000 for each abortion the defendant performed or induced. 

Texas’s abortion law took effect earlier this month after the Supreme Court refused to take up an emergency challenge to block it. 

The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit seeking to block Texas’s law. A hearing in the case has been scheduled for Oct. 1.

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