Proposed ‘Heartbeat Bill’ in Florida would ban abortions once heartbeat is detected

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — A new bill filed by a Florida lawmaker would ban abortions in the state once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

HB 235, filed by Republican Rep. Mike Hill, will be considered during the legislative session in Florida this spring.

The proposal would make it a third-degree felony to perform abortions “when a fetal heartbeat is detected,” WTSP reports. The bill would also redefine a fetus as an “unborn human being.”

Currently, abortions are allowed up to 24 weeks in Florida.

“Consider the rights of that unborn baby,” Hill told WFLA. “My oath said that I would protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Life being the first one.”

Similar bills have been filed in other states, such as South Carolina and Missouri, according to The Associated Press.

Iowa lawmakers passed a similar bill last spring that has faced legal battles about its constitutionality, WJZY reported. And Ohio’s “heartbeat bill” failed to become law after Gov. John Kasich vetoed it.

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