Florida House Republicans aren’t shying away from altering state’s abortion laws

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) – With the regular session just around the corner, Republican lawmakers are considering changes to Florida’s abortion laws.

There has been speculation about changes to Florida’s abortion laws since the 15-week ban was signed last year.

Asked Thursday whether there would be a bill to address this session, House Speaker Paul Reiner said, “We’re currently working on it and taking input from everyone.”

Currently, Florida law bans the procedure after 15 weeks of pregnancy with some exceptions, but that could change as lawmakers consider stricter abortion restrictions.

“We have a pro-life majority,” Reiner said. “I expect that sometime this session we — we may see that topic come up and I look forward to addressing it.”

When the 15-week ban was imposed last year, Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo made it clear she wanted exceptions for rape and incest. “I thought we should have included an exception for rape and incest in the 15-week bill that we passed,” she said.

“Now Republicans are looking for a middle ground,” Reiner said, “we have our differences and we will find a landing spot that hopefully strikes a balance.”

Meanwhile, in the Senate, Democrats question how high of a GOP priority this is.

“I don’t think women’s reproductive rights are incredibly important to them.” State Sen. Jason Pizzo said.

Despite widespread criticism, the governor remained relatively quiet on the issue. When asked if he would sign the heartbeat bill, he left anti-abortion advocates unsatisfied, saying, “I’m ready to sign the great life law.”

A bill is not yet on the books, but there is talk of a ban taking between six and twelve weeks. We could have more answers in a couple of weeks when lawmakers proceed to a regularly scheduled session.

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