Bill requires care for infants surviving abortions

Published: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 4:07 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at 4:07 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Florida House has overwhelmingly passed a bill to require medical care for newborns surviving botched abortions.

The measure (HB 1129) passed the House on a 119-0 vote Wednesday — a rare show of unanimity in the contentious abortion debate. A similar Senate bill has cleared a couple of committees.

Republican Rep. Cary Pigman says his bill would guarantee that all infants are treated humanely, regardless of how they enter the world.

Under the bill, failure to treat newborns who survive failed abortions and to transport them to a hospital would be a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in jail, a $1,000 fine or both.

Abortion-rights supporters say the scenario contemplated by the bill is extremely rare. But some abortion opponents have said it's not such a rarity.

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