Here's some interesting information from the Feb. 17 edition of the Daily Wrap-Up put out by the Florida Tribune:
Rep. Charles Van Zant, R-Keystone Heights, filed a sweeping anti-abortion bill on Wednesday that bans all abortion in the state of Florida unless two doctors determine that the life of the mother is in jeopardy. The measure -- HB 1097 -- says that any attempt to induce an abortion is a first-degree felony. The legislation would also outlaw any facility or business that performs abortion.
Van Zant's bill includes a lengthy introduction that questions past U.S. Supreme Court rulings that legalized abortion in the first trimester and asserts that the Florida Legislature has the power to ignore them, stating that "The Legislature finds that the Constitution of the United States does not vest in the United States Supreme Court the power to determine moral questions on behalf of the citizens of any state without their consent. Further the Legislature finds that the justices of the United States Supreme Court are not qualified to determine, establish, or define the moral values of the people of the United States and specifically for the people of Florida."
Some additional information: Van Zant's measure also states "The Legislature of the people of the state of Florida finds that all life comes from the Creator and begins at conception" and that the principles outlined in Roe v. Wade are "repugnant to the principles expressed in the United States Constitution."
It's not clear how far this legislation will go especially since its legality will likely be questioned. Last year the Legislature did not spend much time on abortion. A measure that would have required an ultrasound prior to an abortion never got heard in the Florida Senate because there were not the votes to pass it out of its first committee stop. Because the Senate was unable to move the bill the House only moved a companion measure through just one committee.
(UPDATE: House Speaker Larry Cretul, R-Ocala, on Thursday said that Van Zant is very "passionate" about abortion and that he wants a "public discussion" about the issue. Cretul would not say if the bill would ultimately get debated by the Florida House. But he said that he talked to Van Zant about it and told him "to work your bill and see what happens.")