A Florida legislator wants to outlaw abortion in Florida.
“I just felt like we’re destroying a lot of Florida’s children, and we need to stop,” said State Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Keystone Heights.
The bill he filed in February would make nearly all forms of abortion a first-degree felony for the provider, punishable by up to life in prison. And it’s gaining traction.
The St. Augustine Record comments:
Several states have tried, but failed, to outlaw abortion in the years following the landmark Supreme Court case. Florida twice tried to enact legislation that banned late-term abortions, in 1998 and 2000, and both times the state lost in federal court because the laws were seen as too broad.
Van Zant’s bill is a politically explosive issue to tackle in an election year, and many other Florida legislators say they don’t expect it to go far.
[...] Abortion bans have been introduced in four states — Florida, Alabama, Georgia and Mississippi, according to research from the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health think tank with offices in New York and Washington, D.C.
Elizabeth Nash, a public policy analyst with the group, said Louisiana and Utah each successfully banned abortion in 1991. Federal courts declared both those laws unconstitutional.
South Dakota voters shot down two ballot measures, in 2006 and 2008, that would have banned abortion.
Lousiana’s Legislature passed, and then-Gov. Kathleen Blanco signed a total abortion ban in 2006, to become law only if Roe is overturned. Fourteen others states have total bans, either from before or passed since Roe, which, like Louisiana’s, remain unconstitutional.
If Van Zant’s law were to be challenged in the high court, it would face a group of judges that has become more conservative, although one thus far unwilling to overturn Roe.
Information from the St. Augustine Register.