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Florida legislators introduce bill to protect pain-capable children from late-term abortions

20 weeks

Two Florida legislators have introduced a bill to ban late-term abortions on pain-capable preborn children. The Florida Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act was introduced jointly by Sen. Ana Maria Rodriguez and Rep. Tommy Gregory, and would prohibit abortion after about five months, based on the scientifically-based assertion that babies can feel pain after 20 weeks gestation. While it is widely accepted that preborn children can feel pain at later gestational ages, more recent scientific studies have noted they, in fact, are capable of feeling pain much earlier than this.

“We have an obligation to be the voice of the unborn, who are too often not valued as individuals with the right to chart their own life,” said Rodriguez. “It is vital that the state of Florida takes action to protect these innocent lives.”

Unsurprisingly, the bill is already facing opposition. “Time and time again, we see our Republican colleagues attempt to restrict access to safe and legal abortion, judge and stigmatize women who make this decision and get in between a woman, her family, her doctor, and her faith,” Rep. Anna Eskamani said.

Pro-lifers hope that the bill’s passage will reduce the number of out-of-state residents who travel to Florida for late-term abortions. Because the surrounding states of Texas, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama all ban abortions past 20 weeks, many people travel to Florida for abortions past this time frame. The Susan B. Anthony List reports that “a surge in out of state license plates in Pensacola and north Florida abortion centers has been reported over the last two years.”

Currently, abortion in Florida is permissible up to 24 weeks; later abortions are permitted if there is a perceived threat to the mother’s life. According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, in 2019, 915 abortions were committed at approximately 20 weeks gestation or later in the state. Passage of this new bill could potentially save the lives of thousands of children in the years to come.

While the bill to restrict late-term abortion is a step toward protecting preborn human beings, scientific research increasingly shows that preborn children can feel pain much earlier than the five-month threshold. Live Action News has previously reported that there are several researchers who believe that preborn children can feel pain as early as eight weeks, while others find evidence of pain in children by 13 weeks at the latest. These researchers and their studies increasingly point to one reality: preborn children are fully human, and there is no age at which it is permissible to brutally kill them in the womb.

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