Offenses Against Unborn Children – HB 59/SB 162 by Representative Larry Ahern and Senator Kelli Stargel: This bill will create the “Florida Unborn Victims of Violence Act” and will make it a crime if a person harms or injures a woman and causes the death of, or bodily injury to, her unborn child. Any offense against an unborn child will be treated as a separate offense, and will receive the same punishment had the death or injury occurred to the mother. The bill passed the House on Friday with 74 yeas and 42 nays.
This legislation has been filed in the Florida Legislature for several years but has never passed both chambers in the same year. We are very hopeful that this will finally be the year that women and unborn children receive protection and justice. The bill is now read
We were in the House chamber as debate over both bills took place. The debate for HB 59 – Offenses Against Unborn Children was truly unbelievable. The way that opponents of life tried to frame this issue was horrifying. Abortion supporters know that anything which calls attention to the humanity of the unborn is not simply an inconvenience to their extreme agenda — it’s a threat.
The opposition to this legislation would have you believe that women value abortion “rights” over their right to give birth or their right for physical protection. They presume that you won’t be able to tell the difference between common sense protections and their empty political rhetoric. It’s hard to believe, but opponents against the bill said that it should not be a crime if an unborn child dies as a result of harm to the mother. They’ve used the same tired tactics year after year, and no doubt they hoped this year wouldn’t be any different.
They weren’t counting on Remee Lee. By now you are probably familiar with her powerful story. She has shared how her boyfriend tricked her into taking an abortion-inducing drug which tragically took the life of her unborn child, Memphis. She has courageously chosen to become an advocate for this bill so that others do not have to endure the pain she has been through.
It has been an absolute honor to work with Remee on behalf of this much-needed legislation. She has diligently traveled to Tallahassee to speak in support of Unborn Victims of Violence in committee meetings, and was present for the vote on the House floor. It was appalling to watch the venom of the opposing legislators who debated that Remee, or any woman like her, should not be protected under Florida law. Her grace and dedication to help protect other women and children from experiencing what she endured has been inspiring.