It’s been more than two weeks since the U.S, Supreme Court opted not to hear challenges to a Texas law that bans abortions at six weeks and allows people to sue anyone participating in an illegal abortion.
And yet, despite vows by some Republican lawmakers to be the first to file a Texas-type bill in Florida, as of Wednesday afternoon, no such bill had been introduced.
In fact, since pre-filing for the 2022 session opened Aug. 1, the only bill mentioning "abortion" is House Bill 6023, filed by Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, which among other provisions proposes removing a state-mandated 24-hour delay for abortion procedures.
Heading into the 2022 session, which begins Jan. 11, Republicans hold a 78-42 House advantage and 24-16 Senate advantage. Eskamani’s bill is unlikely to receive a committee hearing.
But adopting a “cut and paste” replica of Texas Senate Bill 8 is also unlikely, Sen. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, said this week.
Passidomo told the Sarasota Herald-Tribune Tuesday that she supports much of the Texas law but does not its $10,000 incentive for people to sue anyone “participating” in illegal abortions.
“There are provisions in there that don’t make sense,” she said. “We need to do what’s right for Florida.”
Passidomo, who succeeds Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, as Senate President after the 2022 session, was speaking to the newspaper after it reported that she told the Argus Foundation Monday, “I am pro-life but I am not pro-telling on your neighbors.”
The comments drew an apparent conservative backlist, prompting Passidomo to confirm her commitment to adopting anti-abortion legislation despite years of backing such bills in Tallahassee.
“Given the recent opinion by the U.S. Supreme Court, we may pursue greater protections for life in Florida,” Passidomo clarified. “I look forward to seriously evaluating and considering that legislation and supporting good public policy that protects life,
“As a pro-life legislator,” she continued, “I believe that our state must continue to dedicate itself to the protection of the most vulnerable among us. We must remain true to our commitment to promote a culture that defends and cherishes life as the most fundamental of our inalienable rights.”
Meanwhile, the Manatee Country Commission wants to replicate another Texas law, one adopted by the city of Lubbock that blocks abortion clinics through zoning ordinances.
The commission Tuesday sent a query to Attorney General Ashley Moody regarding the legality of an ordinance “to establish Manatee County as a ‘Safe Haven’ for developing children who are inside their mother’s womb.”
There aren’t any abortion clinics in Manatee County, but the commission wants to be proactive. “As Manatee County grows in population it is our desire abortion providing franchises will not operate in our county,” the query states.
Out-numbered Democrats vow to fight legislatively in Tallahassee and legally in court, but don’t have the numbers to stop Republicans from passing bills restricting abortion.
Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami, pondering a run for the party’s 2022 gubernatorial nomination, called the Texas law the “Rapist’s Bill of Rights” and said Floridians will not support a measure that reminds many of oppression in Cuba by bullies and vigilantes.
“This law specifically in Texas, the one they want to bring to Florida, would do that here in Florida,” Taddeo said during a virtual press conference last week. “Civilians would be the ones patrolling.”
Threats of corporate boycotts won’t dissuade Republicans from adopting such measures if they believe it will help them in 2022 elections, said Rep. Dotie Joseph, D-Miami.
That may be a miscalculation, said Sen. Lori Berman, D-Boynton Beach, predicting suburban women of both parties will make that apparent when they vote in November 2022.
“I do think there’s an issue with moderate Republican women who do support abortion,” she said.
Washington Examiner Videos
Original Author: John Haughey, The Center Square contributor
Original Location: Key Florida Republicans cool to adopting ‘cut and paste’ Texas abortion bill