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Friday, 05 April 2013 08:44

Florida NOW 2013 Legislative Update

Written by  Terry Sanders, Florida NOW Legislative Director
The 2013 Legislative Session is heading into its fourth of nine weeks in session and 8 anti-abortion bills have been submitted and are in committees.  Although this is somewhat less bills than previous years, they seem to have reworded many previously submitted bills to make them sound more necessary. They are playing a game in Tallahassee to push forward bills to restrict women’s and doctor’s abortion rights that seems to have some momentum.
Anti-abortion bills:
HB 845 / SB 1072 by Rep Van Zant and Sen Evers: Termination of Pregnancy Based on Sex or Race of Unborn Child
One of the latest tricks to restrict abortion rights is to make up a problem that doesn’t exist so they can enact useless laws. These so-called race and sex selection abortion bills have no facts to back them up. These bills are unnecessary and insulting to women and doctors.
Update 3/29: These bills are moving through committees and appear to have some support.
 
HB 759 / SB 876 by Rep Ahern and Sen Stargel: Offenses against Unborn Children
While purporting to add violence protection for pregnant women these bills instead are another veiled attempt at ‘personhood’ for fertilized eggs.
Update 3/29: These bills are moving through committees and appear to have some support.
 
HB 1129 / SB 1636 by Rep Pigman and Sen Flores:  Infants Born Alive
Ostensibly to protect late term aborted fetuses, these bills are totally unnecessary. Again, there are no facts or figures to back up the need for another intrusive bill against abortion rights.
Update 3/29: These bills are moving through committees and appear to have some support.
 
HB 395 / SB 1056  by Rep Van Zant and by Sen Evers are the “all-out” ban on abortion care, with very limited exceptions for life of the mother.
Update 3/29: These bills have not moved through committee – most likely will not be heard.
 
Other bills opposed by Florida NOW:
HB231 / SB 718 by Rep Workman and Sen Stargel would restrict alimony and disproportionately negatively impacts women.
Update 3/29: These bills are moving quickly through committee and have growing support. There is a small but loud and aggressive campaign in support of these bills.
 
HB 655 by Rep. Precourt / SB 726 by Senator Simmons and HB 1125 by Rep. Goodson / SB 1216 by Senator Bradley are trying to prohibit and pre-empt local efforts to get living wages, leave time, and wage theft ordinances passed which they know we are able to do in many local communities. Update 3/29: These bills are moving through committees and appear to have some support.
 
HB 0869 / SB 1384 by Rep Hager and Sen Galvano:  Nursing Home Litigation
These are bad bills that make it more difficult to sue nursing homes for poor care and negligence. Since women live longer than men, these bill impact older, more vulnerable women.
Update 3/29: These bills are moving through committees and appear to have some support.
 
Bills we support:
HB 8001 by Rep Berman and SB 54 by Joyner is to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment in Florida. Update 3/29: These bills have been referred to several committees and have not been heard.
(HB 717 & SB 774) The Pregnancy Non-Discrimination Act submitted by Rep Berman and Sen Thompson – protects pregnant women from discrimination and potential firing based on the condition of pregnancy. These rights are protected under Federal law and this bill will bring Florida in line with Federal protections.
Update 3/29: These bills are moving through committees with a number of changes. The effect of the changes is still being evaluated.
To contact your local legislators:
Florida House – go to www.myfloridahouse.gov, click on ‘Representatives’ and then select “Find your Representative”
Florida Senate – got to www.flsenate.gov,  click on ‘Senators’ and enter your zip code on the top left.
 
On a personal note, I’d like to thank everyone who attended the State Council meeting and Florida NOW Conference in Gainesville for electing me as Legislative Director. Your support and confidence in me is comforting as we continue the difficult battles in Tallahassee.  I hope to provide the quality service you deserve.
In sisterhood,
Terry Sanders
Florida NOW Legislative Director
Last modified on Friday, 05 April 2013 08:52
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