Florida abortion ban: Dads would have to pay child support at 15 weeks under new amendment

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — More than a dozen amendments to Florida’s proposed 15-week abortion ban were tabled Tuesday during its last visit to a Senate committee.

Among the proposed legislative additions was a requirement to start paying child support at 15 weeks. If abortions are banned at 15 weeks gestation, the amendment proposed in the Florida Senate by Tina Scott Polsky, D-Palm Beach, would require the child’s father to start paying child support as soon as abortions are no longer legal.

The amendment, as written, would include health insurance coverage for mother and child, as well as for the duration of the pregnancy and any related postpartum care needs after the child is born. .

In cases where the paternity of an unborn child is disputed, the court will have to wait to enforce child support payments until the biological father has been confirmed. Payments would then be required, including payments retroactive to the date when 15 weeks of pregnancy was reached.

Sticking to health insurance, an amendment introduced by State Sen. Janet Cruz, D-Tampa, would make women at risk of becoming pregnant eligible for Medicaid coverage. The senator said it could help up to 700,000 Floridians.

“This amendment would provide medical coverage to more than 700,000 Floridians and save working families hundreds of millions of dollars,” Cruz said.

Going back to a legislative focus on fathers of unborn children, an amendment by Annette Taddeo, D-Miami-Dade, would require that a man cannot have a vasectomy until two doctors have certified by writes that he was counseled on the procedure, and that the vasectomy “will prevent the creation of future life”.

Other amendments tabled by Sens. Lauren Book, D-Broward and Audrey Gibson, D-Jacksonville, on the committee surrogate for Florida’s proposed 15-week abortion ban focused on adding abortion options for those who have been victims of rape, incest or human trafficking, or for pregnant minors seeking legal exemptions for an abortion. Previous attempts to include these amendments in debates in the House have failed.

Additionally, an amendment filed by Lori Berman, D-Boynton Beach, would require the Florida Department of Health to create a fund to pay for expenses related to the care of children born with fetal anomalies and for an “increase in the number of children entering the foster care system If the amendment is passed with the abortion ban, the FDOH should allocate 50% of appropriate funding for pregnancy support and wellness services for foster care and funding for fetal anomalies The Department of Health would also be required to adopt rules to administer the fund.

Another Berman amendment would require that the health education curriculum for middle and high school students be comprehensive sex education, rather than abstinence-only sex education. The amendment would require the program to be “medically accurate and developmentally appropriate” while including “an awareness of the benefits of sexual abstinence”.

The amendment stated that the comprehensive education guidelines should be consistent with current best practices and policies of the federal system, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An amendment introduced by Loranne Ausley (D-Tallahassee) in the last session of the Senate would require the Department of Health to conduct a racial impact study by the fetal and infant death review committees. The study is expected to include “a comprehensive review of existing literature on fetal and infant mortality disparities”, to determine factors related to high fetal and infant mortality rates among minorities.

Additionally, the amendment would require a racial impact study on maternal mortality rates, to include a comprehensive review of existing literature on racial disparities in maternal deaths, to find ways to address ” disproportionately high rates of maternal mortality among minority populations” and how to address these disparities.

The 15-week abortion ban will return to the Senate for a question and answer session and debate on the amendments on Wednesday. Then it will go to a full vote. Banning abortion has already removed legislative barriers from the House of Commons.


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