In an interview with The Florida Times-Union, the sponsor of a bill that would ban abortions after 20 weeks said he introduced the bill because ”as a society we do not want people to feel pain.”
The bill introduced by state Rep. Daniel Davis, R-Jacksonville, is similar to a handful of bills seen last year in legislatures across the country: so-called “fetal pain” bills that have been found to be “neither scientifically nor constitutionally sound.” Current law protects a woman’s right to have an abortion up to 22-24 weeks, at least.
“I think as a society we do not want people to feel pain,” Davis said. “We should do everything we can do to relieve pain.”
The bill includes an exception if the pregnancy endangers a woman’s life or could cause her “substantial and irreversible physical impairment.” It does not include exemptions for pregnancies that are the result of rape or incest.
The bill was part of 18 pieces of legislation filed in the House and Senate during last year’s legislative session. Many passed. The 20-week ban did not.
“I’m going to work hard this session, and hope we have a different outcome,” Davis said.
Davis said he understands there will be opposition, but thinks the bill benefits the state.
“This was brought to me by constituents, and I think it’s the right thing to do,” he said.
The most recent study on fetal pain, which was published in Current Biology, found that a fetus does not feel pain until 35 to 37 weeks of gestation.
The sponsor of last session’s bill, state Rep. Carlos Trujillo, R-Miami, said he filed House Bill 321 because he’s “pro-life, a devout Catholic and based on the scientific evidence,” he believes “you can have a debate on when a child can feel pain and when that fetus is viable.”
However, he did concede that that the science behind his law was “inconclusive.”