Protesters claim bill would limit access to abortion

Planned Parenthood opposes a bill that would give women more time to sue for malpractice.

LAKELAND, Fla. -- Protesters with Planned Parenthood claim a new bill would make it harder for women to access safe and legal abortions. On Wednesday, they marched to the office of Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland), who's proposing the bill.

“It assumes that women will regret the decision and claim that they are emotionally distraught,” Amy Rooker, one of the demonstrators, said.

The bill would let women sue the doctor who performed their abortion for malpractice up to 10 years after the procedure. Right now, the statute of limitations is two years.

“There’s concern about limiting access,” said Dr. Suzie Prabhakaran, who works for Planned Parenthood and performs abortions for them.

She worries that if the bill passes there will be fewer doctors performing abortions out of fear of being sued and because of high malpractice insurance rates.

“If your physician doesn't feel comfortable performing abortions because of this change in statute, that's a really tragic outcome for women,” she explained.

Sen. Stargel doesn't think that will happen.

“If you have an abortion when you're a younger girl, you don't know that there's been any damage or that there have been any problems until later down the road,” she said.

She explained the bill simply gives women more time to sue their doctor if something goes wrong.

“Our law doesn't give you many opportunities to fix if those things have gone wrong, because you usually don't discover it till many years later,” she said.

The bill still hasn’t gone before any committees, so it has several hurdles ahead of it. If it does pass, it would go into effect in July.

© 2017 WTSP-TV


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