Florida for Life Act 2016 (SB 1718)
This law was last updated on Jun 28, 2016
SB 1718 would create the Florida For Life Act, establishing that life begins at conception and prohibiting inducing or performing abortions and providing grounds for disciplinary action against physicians that perform abortions during viability.
Terminations of pregnancy during viability
No performance or inducement of abortion may be performed if a physician determines that the fetus is viable. An abortion may be performed if one or two physicians certified in writing that it was necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life or avert a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman.
If an abortion is performed while the patient’s fetus is viable, the physician would be expected to do everything in their power to save the life of the fetus. Any physician that violates this requirement could face disciplinary actions. The performance of such an abortion would only be allowed to take place at a hospital or other medical establishment that is capable of providing all necessary lifesaving and life-sustaining medical services to the viable fetus.
The bill would make it a felony for any physician to knowingly misrepresent the gestational age or stage of fetal development of a viable fetus in an entry to any medical record.
SB 1718 would prohibit induced abortions except for cases stated above. The bill would make it a felony for any person who induces an abortion, attempt to perform, or assists another in the performance of an induced abortion. If a person performs an induced abortion on another person and manages to inflict serious bodily injury on the person, they would be committing a felony punishable by imprisonment. If that bodily injury resulted in death, the person responsible would be committing a life felony.
SB 1718 would make it a felony to operate any facility, business or service for the purpose of providing induced abortion services.
Termination of pregnancies would be prohibited unless two physicians certified in writing that it was necessary to save the life of the pregnant woman. If another physician is not available for a consultation, the attending physician may certify in writing themselves.
Termination of a pregnancy may not be performed or induced without the voluntary and informed written consent of the patient, or the patient’s parents or legal guardian.
Requirements for voluntary and informed consent:
- The nature and risks of undergoing or not undergoing the procedure;
- The probable gestational age of the fetus, verified by ultrasound; and
- The medical risks to the patient and fetus if carried to term.
The person performing the ultrasound must offer the patient the opportunity to view and receive a description of the images. The pregnant woman may decline to view the images or hear a description.
Printed materials provided by the health department should be provided to the patient that includes:
- An accurate estimate of the stage of biological development, gestational age, length, weight, and viability of the unborn human person;
- A list of agencies that offer alternatives to terminating the pregnancy;
- Detailed information on the availability of medical assistance benefits for prenatal care, childbirth and neonatal care.
Standard of Care to be Used During Viability
The bill would require that abortions on viable fetuses be performed in a hospital or other medical establishment that is capable of providing all necessary lifesaving and life-sustaining medical services to the viable fetus. The bill would make it a first-degree felony for a physician to knowingly misrepresent the gestational age or stage of development of the fetus in any entry into a medical record or to fail to use the requisite standard of care to preserve the life and health of the fetus.
SB 1718 would also require the Office of Adoption and Child Protection to create and manage a statewide list of attorneys providing volunteer adoption services for women and minors with unwanted pregnancies who would have selected abortion, if lawful, rather than adoption, etc.
The bill would prohibit using a live fetus or live, premature infant for any type of scientific, laboratory, or other kind of research or experimentation except as necessary to protect of preserve the life and health of such fetus or premature infant.
The health department would be required to set standards for sanitary and appropriate manners of disposing fetal remains.
Health insurance policies may not have provided coverage for induced abortions.
Similar to HB 865.
Similar to HB 545, which failed to pass in 2014.