|Rep. Charles Van Zant (R-Florida)|
Well, how’s this for a rousing start to the new year. Barely three days into 2012, Florida Rep. Charles Van Zant (R) is restarting his party’s war on women’s reproductive health with another radical initiative to ban abortion outright in the state:
Last week, state Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Palatka, followed through on his announcement that he would bring back a bill that bans abortion in the state of Florida, providing only an exception to save the life of the mother. Van Zant’s bill would make performing an abortion a felony.
House Bill 1151 would create the “Florida for Life Act,” a law that would essentially outlaw all abortions in direct defiance of legal abortion rights in the U.S.
According to a summary, the bill would prohibit “induced abortions,” the operation of a facility that provides abortions, the termination of any pregnancy “unless specified conditions are met.”
The bill does not provide exceptions for rape or incest, either. It only provides an exception for a woman who is facing a threat to her life if she carries out a pregnancy. According to the bill, “woman’s life is a superior consideration to the concern for the life of the fetus and the woman’s health is a superior consideration to the concern for the health of the fetus when such life or health concerns are in conflict.”
Oh, well, glad to see he’s made sure to clarify the matter of whether the fetus carrier’s life means anything compared to the sacred little parasite dwelling within her. Not that she’s worthy of any right over what goes on with her own body, of course, but hey, at least she’ll be allowed to live if things go really bad. Shouldn’t she be thankful?
Sadly, this is just the latest in a long string of anti-choice bills snaking their way through the state legislature [links removed for brevity]:
Van Zant, an ordained Baptist minister, has unsuccessfully introduced a similar bill multiple times. This past October, he told Creative Loafing he would be introducing the bill again.
The Legislature has already introduced a bill written by the Florida Catholic Conference that would redefine the death of a “viable fetus” as the death of an “unborn child.” The bill would also change laws for vehicular manslaughter involving a pregnant woman.
Another bill introduced by state Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, would restrict “the circumstances in which an abortion may be performed in the third trimester or after viability.” Flores’ bill also pushes forward a handful of anti-abortion measures that did not make it through last session, including targeted laws for abortion providers and a waiting period for women seeking an abortion.
Early last month, state Rep. Daniel Davis, R-Jacksonville, introduced a “fetal pain” bill that would outlaw abortions after 20 weeks.
Van Zant’s proposal brings the running count of anti-abortion/reproductive rights bill to seven for the 2012 session. During last year’s session, 18 such bills were introduced.
Sen. Stephen Wise, R-Jacksonville, has introduce the Senate version of Van Zant’s abortion ban.
You know, I daresay Florida’s starting to lose its appeal.