The pro-life bill is a no-brainer for conservatives wanting to set an important precedent in a time where states like New York are Virginia are attempting to expand late-term abortions.
In New York, so long as a licensed practitioner acts in "good faith," a baby can be murdered in the womb up to birth in order "to protect the patient's life or health." The word "health" is not clearly defined within the legislation, leaving it open-ended. According to the language, this could include mental health.
"A health care practitioner licensed, certified, or authorized under title eight of the education law, acting within his or her lawful scope of practice, may perform an abortion when, according to the practitioner's reasonable and good faith professional judgment based on the facts of the patient's case: the patient is within twenty-four weeks from the commencement of pregnancy, or there is an absence of fetal viability, or the abortion is necessary to protect the patient's life or health," reads the legislation.
Virginia is also trying to pass similar legislation, which would loosen restrictions on late-term abortions and encourage infanticide.
Although highly praised by members in both chambers, the bill has stalled, and currently remains in limbo awaiting a vote. With the May 3 deadline looming, Republicans are worried that both bills could die before its first hearings.
"The heartbeat bill is still not moving. It is moving in so many other heartland states that I am holding on to the hope that it can still be heard in Florida," Rep. Hill, who sponsored the bill in the House, told RoundTable Politics.
And while the legislature's silence is alarming, it isn't stopping Hill and other conservatives from speaking out on the importance of the bill and why it needs to be passed.
As it stands, similar bills have been adopted in Kentucky and Mississippi, and a similar proposal in Georgia is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Brian Kemp. Even Ohio, a battleground state every election, became the third state this year to pass a "heartbeat" bill.
Meanwhile, "heartbeat" bills have been moving through chambers in other states like Tennessee and Missouri, while Florida continues to falter on the important issue.
With the clock ticking, the Sunshine State needs to address the bill, or risk being the black sheep when it comes to states taking a stand against abortions. For once, Florida has the opportunity to not be the laughingstock when it comes to saving lives and setting a pro-life trend.
While other legislatures are passing "heartbeat" bills, Florida's reluctance to even hold a hearing says a lot about the gridlock at the Capitol. The legislature's "deer in a headlights" approach is not a good look for a state that could've led the charge in saving unborn lives.
Florida must act or risk wearing a black eye that may never heal. Either pass legislation to curtail abortions, or abort these bills and allow more innocent lives to perish in the process.