Wednesday, October 27, 2021

A Florida Republican wants to make abortion illegal, except in rare instances

A Florida Republican proposed a bill Wednesday that would impose abortion restrictions that the Texas House of Representatives passed nearly a year ago.

Rep. Patricia Williams, who filed House Bill 1656, said the bill would make “all abortions illegal,” except for cases of rape, incest and to save the life of the mother. Only a single state, Georgia, has a stricter abortion restriction law.

“This is a bill to say, ‘we are not going to allow abortions to take place in Florida,’” Williams told HuffPost Florida, adding that she was drawn to her proposal by recent developments in Texas. “I look at that bill and what it did and I think, ‘This could happen here.’”

Elected to represent a district in northwest Florida’s Bradford County, Williams backed a nationwide movement last year to legalize recreational marijuana, commonly referred to as “recreational legalization.” Her campaign website states that she “joins many organizations that believe that marijuana should be legalized and should be regulated similarly to alcohol.” Williams has also called legalizing medical marijuana a “Cultural Revolution.”

Williams also used the World’s Oldest Day, observed every year on the 13th of January, to promote her abortion bill.

“If you look at life, you know about so many African-American women who get abortions as soon as they’re pregnant,” Williams said. “They say, ‘Well, there’s a reason that I have two vaginas,’ so it’s just not appropriate to abort an unborn baby.

“Even in cases of rape, how you feel in your body in regard to what you did? Where is that? If you think this is something that’s just not a big deal, here’s a bill that will guarantee that that baby could be raised by their family.”

Williams’ bill has been referred to the Florida House Appropriations Committee.

Arizona Republicans are pushing an abortion bill that would put restrictions on a woman’s right to choose through new state statutes and a state constitutional amendment. A similar proposal in Texas has met harsh resistance from Democrats and even some fellow Republicans.

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