Texas’s law is seen as a model for pro-life lawmakers after the Supreme Court declined to strike it down earlier this month, citing procedural reasons.
Because the law hands enforcement to private citizens rather than state officials, the court ruled that the abortionists who opposed it had no legal standing to sue until a plaintiff emerged to enforce the law.
The Florida bill, introduced by state Rep. Webster Barnaby, similarly allows private citizens rather than government officials to enforce the law by filing lawsuits against those who either perform or “aid or abet” abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected.
State Democrats have already come out hard against the bill, arguing that it poses a “threat” to women.
“We know that for those who don’t have means to leave the state of Florida to end their pregnancy that they will likely have nowhere to go, and they might seek unsafe options to end a pregnancy or be forced to carry a pregnancy to term that they do not feel like they can,” Democratic state Rep. Anna Eskamani, who previously worked for Planned Parenthood, said during a recent radio interview.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has suggested he would be open to legislation similar to Texas’s, but does not “want to turn private citizens against each other,” according to his press secretary, Christina Pushaw.
“At the same time, nothing is off the table,” Pushaw said in a statement. “All the Governor has said is that he’s looking into what the best option might be in terms of legislation to protect life.”
The day after the Texas law took effect, DeSantis vowed to “look more significantly at [the bill].”
“I’m pro-life,” he said. “I welcome pro-life legislation.”