Abortion bills gaining momentum in Fla.

Planned Parenthood rallies over Medicaid expansion

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Several bills to reduce the number of abortions in Florida are gaining momentum this legislative session.

On Monday, supporters of Planned Parenthood held a rally on the Capitol steps, but instead of railing against the pro-life legislation, the group focused on the Medicaid expansion made optional through the Affordable Care Act.

"It's always a great day to stand with Planned Parenthood," said Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee.

"My colleges need to act now, not next session, to expand access to health insurance to more Florida women and their families," said Sen. Eleanor Sobel.

Inside the state Capitol, legislation to reduce the number of abortions in Florida was moving.

Of the half-dozen bills filed, one would outlaw abortions based on the race or sex of the fetus. Another makes killing a fetus while committing a criminal act against the mother a separate crime.

The bill garnering the most attention deals with botched abortions. Last month, lawmakers asked poignant questions of a Planned Parenthood lobbyist about what to do if the fetus is still alive after the procedure.

"I think that at that point, the patient would be the child struggling on the table. Wouldn't you agree?" one representative asked.

"That's a very good question. I really don't know how to answer that," said Alisa LaPolt Snow, of Planned Parenthood.

On Monday, a CEO of Planned Parenthood of South Florida answered the question.

"If confronted with a situation like that, our physicians would provide the appropriate care for both the infant and the woman," Lillian Tamayo said.

After the rally, an amended version of the bill passed a committee, with Planned Parenthood's support.

Another bill would allow rape victims who decided to keep their child to take their attacker to court to eliminate the rapist's parental rights.

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