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Pensacola lawmaker files anti-abortion 'fetal heartbeat' bill in Florida House

WEAR

A Pensacola lawmaker is trying to drastically reduce the time period you can get an abortion in Florida.

On Thursday, State Representative Mike Hill filed House Bill 235 - also known as the ‘Fetal Heartbeat’ Bill.

Right now, it’s illegal in Florida for a woman to have an abortion after she is 20 weeks pregnant

House Bill 235 would reduce that time to when a heartbeat is detected in a fetus.

Doctors would be required to conduct ultrasounds to determine this.

"My oath said I would protect life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Life being the first one. So, I thought it was incumbent upon me as an elected official to protect life whenever I can,” said Hill.

Both doctors and women could face felony charges if abortions are done after this time.

If the woman is raped or learns the baby has abnormalities, the procedure still cannot be done.

"As horrendous and heinous a crime is as rape and incest, for some reason God decided there is going to be life here. Who are we to say, 'No you made a mistake, we are going to kill the baby anyway,'” added Hill.

Hill said the bill does have an exception. It is if the procedure is necessary to protect the mother’s life.

“I'm immediately pro-choice,” said community member Bridget Gipson.

Gipson believes this proposed legislation is a violation of women’s rights.

"I believe women have a right to choose and quite frankly it's about understanding what's going on with your own body,” she said.

Gipson believes men should not make it illegal for a woman to make a decision about her own body.

"That he was a representative and a male, absolutely not,” she added.

Others see the bill as a step in the right direction.

"Any society is judged by the way in which it treats its most vulnerables and its most innocent and what can be more vulnerable or innocent than a child in the womb,” said community member Mark Willliams.

"I am all for being against abortion. I think it's wrong. I think a beating heart indicates it is a life,” said community member Emily Berteau.

The bill still has a long way to go.

First it has to be assigned to a committee. Then it has to pass through both the House and the Senate before making it to the Governor’s desk.

Hill said a companion bill has not been filed in the Senate yet.

Let us know what you think about House Bill 235 by heading to WEAR’s Facebook page and voting in our poll.

Click here to read the complete bill.

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