Florida lawmakers pause “unborn child” protection bill amidst concerns

Florida lawmakers pause "unborn child" protection bill amidst concerns | Credits: Adobestock
Florida lawmakers pause "unborn child" protection bill amidst concerns | Credits: Adobestock

United States – In Florida, lawmakers suspended the bill, which would have slated the “unborn child” to protection, while others feared it would be used against in vitro fertilization (IVF) clinics like the one that sued the judge in Alabama this month.

Erin Grall, a Florida state senator, said in an emailed statement today that she had requested that her bill “be temporarily postponed at this time.”

Postpones Bill

“Although I have worked diligently to respond to questions and concerns, I understand there is still work that needs to be done,” Grall wrote. “It is important we get the policy right with an issue of this significance.”

Grall’s bill wasn’t expected to be brought up for consideration before the end of the current session of the Florida legislature on March 8.

Republicans nationwide are making efforts to prevent an outcome from a recent Alabama Supreme Court case. The decision allowed people to make a wrongful death claim for the death of minor children, including embryos, from a 2018-sanctioned Sanctity of Life Amendment approved by voters that supports “the sanctity of the life of unborn and the rights of unborn children.”

The decision taken by Alabama’s Supreme Court, whose nine judges are all Republicans, made some clinics treating IVF patients shut down, a move that infuriated patients and those who think it is another infringement on women’s reproductive rights, as reported by Reuters.

Court Decision Sparks Controversy

In 2022, the Supreme Court of the US overruled the 1973 Roe v. Wade judgment, which identified such a right to abort as a constitutional right. 

This was a states’ rights issue, and legality within the borders of the states was left to state definitions of marriage. In turn, conservative states, similar to Alabama, have enforced a ban on abortion almost in totality.

Post the 2022 ruling, in the midterm elections, the Democrats were able to retain control of the US Senate and had merely minimal losses of seats in the US House.

Now, Democrats would like the abortion problem to be the leverage that would make President Biden be re-elected and would help them perform better in both the Senate and Congress.

Trump Weighs in on Alabama Situation

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, on February 19, advised the Alabama House of Representatives to save fast assessment of the law that is now restricting access to IVF treatment in the state.

Former President of the United States – Donald Trump | Credits: Reuters

“I strongly support the availability of IVF for couples who are trying to have a precious baby,” the former president said in a post on Truth Social.

Advocacy Groups Mobilize Against Restrictions

Chief advocacy and policy officer Sean Tipton, for Reproductive Medicine, working against measures like Alabama’s restrictions, tracking the legislation, and representing the lobbyists, said in an email to the group that they have witnessed several bills of bans of pregnant persons in many states, as reported by Reuters.

“Given the profound backlash to the Alabama decision, I doubt there are many elected officials looking to be accused of stopping access to IVF,” Tipton wrote.