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'Disability abortion' ban proposed in Florida legislature

The bill would make it a felony for doctors to perform such abortions, but would grant immunity to women who received an abortion.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla — Legislation filed in the Florida Senate this week would make it illegal for doctors to perform abortions based on a prenatal disability diagnosis.

The bill, filed by Republican Florida Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez Thursday, would make it illegal for doctors to perform an abortion if the only reason is because the fetus was diagnosed with a disability. 

Meaning if the doctor knows the woman getting the abortion is doing so because of a prenatal diagnosis, test or screening that indicated a disability or potential disability in the fetus and is still performed, the abortion would be breaking the law.

In the bill, a disability is defined as "any disease, defect, or disorder that is genetically inherited," including a physical disability, mental or intellectual disability, physical disfigurement, Down syndrome, scoliosis, dwarfism, albinism, amelia or physical or mental disease."

Legislation also states any woman who gets a "disability abortion" wouldn't be prosecuted. Exceptions to this rule include if an abortion is necessary to save the mother's life and if "no other medical procedure" is an option. 

If the bill is passed, it would take effect July 1, 2021.

Read the bill's full text here:

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