In the middle of a packed agenda, Florida House members tackled three abortion bills.
“That fetus is a child for the purposes of your statute?” asked Rep. Jim Waldman.
The first would make the death of a fetus in the commission of a crime against the mother, murder.
“If a person commits any crime that causes the death of, or bodily injury to an unborn child, such person commits a separate offense,” said Rep. Larry Ahern.
After a half hour of discussion the bill was put on the agenda for final passage.
“I believe that abortions are wrong as you know, but I believe discrimination again any human is wrong,” said rep. Charles Van Zant.
Then Democrats and Republicans faced off over a bill to ban abortions based on the race or sex of the offspring. Before the procedure doctors would have to verify the mother’s motive.
“So are we asking our doctors and our health practitioners to now put on a police officers cap and perform a criminal investigation?” asked Rep. David Kerner.
One of the abortion bills had the potential to be the most controversial piece of legislation of this session but changes were made and it passed with unanimous support.
“It defines born alive in clear and unambiguous terms a delivered human infant who draws a breath,” said Rep. Cary Pigman.
The bill requires doctors to protect the life of any fetus surviving a botched abortion. The bill passed with overwhelming support.
The remaining abortion bills could be voted on later this week.