Florida Sex-Selective Abortion Ban Moves Forward In House

Sneak Attack' Abortion Ban Moves Through House Committee
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Florida lawmakers are one step closer to banning sex- and race-selective abortions, a measure some considered a "sneak attack on a woman's right to choose" when it failed on the federal level last year.

Wednesday a Florida Judiciary Committee approved the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act, requiring doctors performing abortions to sign an affidavit that the procedure is not based or gender or race, with a $10,000 penalty if such an abortion is performed.

The bill holds that "women are a vital part of American society and culture and possess the same fundamental human rights and civil rights as men" and cites a "growing sex-determination niche industry" that leads to female infanticide.

When HuffPost Miami spoke with Rep. Charles Van Zant (R-Keystone Heights), who sponsored the bill, he was unable to provide specific cases when abortion was performed based on either sex or race, or any examples of a growing "sex-determination niche industry."

Meanwhile some Republicans were uncomfortable with the measure during the committee hearing.

"As a conservative Republican who keeps saying ‘let’s get out of your lives except when we want to stay in it,’ I’m concerned," Rep. Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples) told the Palm Beach Post. "These kind of issues are not the kind of issues that we should be handling here in the Florida legislature.”

Rep. Daphne Campbell (D-Miami), who lists her religious affiliation as Seventh-Day Adventist, a pro-life faith, was the only Democrat to cross party lines and approve the ban. She did not immediately return HuffPost Miami's request for comment.

Last year, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) introduced the Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act to ban sex- and race-selective abortions on the federal level. It failed shy of 30 votes.

At the time, Jezebel writer Erin Gloria Ryan pointed out that the reasoning behind such anti-discrimination abortion bills was unfounded, citing Centers for Disease Control data that showed the gender birth ratio has been very steady over the past 13 years.

The Prenatal Nondiscrimination Act is just one of four bills concerning women and their wombs before the 2013 Florida Legislature.

The Florida for Life Act, what the Florida Association of Planned Parenthood Affiliates once called "one of the most extreme abortion bans in the country," bans all abortions except those that can save the life of the mother. So far, it has received no committee hearings.

The Infants Born Alive bill requires doctors to provide reasonable medical treatment and health care to infants born alive during a botched abortion procedure. It has been approved by both the Health Quality and Criminal Justice subcommittees in the House.

And the Offenses Against Unborn Children Act provides that anyone who commits a criminal offense that results in harm to an “unborn child” is responsible for a separate, additional offense from the one committed against the mother. The House Judiciary Committee approved the bill, 12 to 4, on Wednesday.

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