A bill sponsored by Rep. Rachel Burgin, R-Riverview, that would impose a 24-hour wait on abortions and create other restrictions was passed by the Florida House on Thursday, the Huffington Post reports.
HB 277 amends Florida law to prohibit abortions after the fetus has attained viability (around 24 weeks gestation) and does not allow abortions after 20 weeks unless the doctor informs the woman how the fetus will suffer pain.
The bill would also implement a yearly ethics course for abortion doctors and require abortion clinics or physician’s offices performing abortions to report demographic information to U.S. Centers for Disease Control, the Huffington Post reports.
"I ask you to vote for this bill, not because it is a 'pro-life' issue but because it really is an issue about women's health and an issue of women's safety," Burgin told members before the vote, according to this Reuters report via the Chicago Tribune.
The House voted 78-33 in favor of the measure, largely along party lines, the Marco Island Sun Times reports.
The bill is not without its critics. The ACLU of Florida called it "perhaps the biggest government invasion into the personal, private decision about whether or not to become a parent that the Florida legislature has brought forth in recent memory." Rep. Elaine Schwartz, D-Hollywood, said the bill is part of an "insidious war against women."
If passed in the Florida Senate, the bill goes into effect July 12, the Huffington Post reports.