Thursday, March 07, 2013

Rachel Burgin's Anti-Abortion Bill

Rep. Rachel Burgin, R-Riverview has successfully passed a the horrible anti-abortion HB 277 through the Florida House. The bill would force women and abortion providers to go through needless hurdles. Doctors would be required to inform women of the pain that a fetus feels during an abortion. (Never mind that Republican legislators have no idea what a fetus does or doesn't feel.) There would be a 24 hour waiting period before any abortion. Doctors would have to attend a yearly ethics course. What this course will teach is most likely anti-abortion misinformation. Doctors performing abortions are also required to own an abortion clinic. Imagine if every ER doctor was required to own a hospital.

Text from the bill.

Expands the category of prohibited terminations in Florida, to include those when the fetus has attained viability. Changes the phrase “termination of pregnancy” to “abortion” throughout ch. 390, F.S. Requires physicians to provide information to a woman regarding the ability of a fetus to feel pain after 20 weeks gestational age, prior to her giving informed consent for an abortion. Requires a physician to offer to provide anesthesia or analgesics, if the fetus has attained viability. Requires that informed consent be completed 24 hours prior to a procedure. Requires all abortion clinics provide conspicuous notice on any advertisements that the clinic is prohibited from performing abortions in the third trimester or after viability and requires the Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) to implement a rule to enforce this provision. Adds new statutory requirements for all abortion clinics and physicians by requiring 3 hours annual continuing education relating to ethics, requiring a physician to own and operate an abortion clinic, and requiring any abortion performed after viability to be performed in a hospital. Transfers the criminal statutory prohibitions found in ss. 797.02 and 797.03, F.S., and conforms them to other changes in the bill. Amends current reporting requirements for facilities that perform abortions to conform to standards set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Requires AHCA to submit a report, using collected information from abortion clinics or physician’s offices performing abortions, to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and also report this information to the Governor and other constitutional officers. Repeals the penalty for Partial Birth Abortions, in ch. 782, F.S., relating to homicide, that conflicts with the criminal penalty in ch. 390 F.S. Provides a severability clause.

The House passed this bill. However there was disagreement on if a fetus feels pain.

...there is also research to suggest that despite the presence of such a physical structure within the fetus, it still lacks the capacity to recognize pain. In a 2005 review of the evidence, the American Medical Association concluded that: pain is an emotional and psychological response that requires conscious recognition of a stimulus. Consequently, the capacity for conscious perception of pain can only arise after the thalamocortical pathways begin to function, which may occur in the third trimester around 29-30 weeks gestational age.

Sadly, this bill will likely pass the Senate and be signed by Gov. Rick Scott. Republicans will then wonder why they are losing women voters.

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