Last week, Florida legislators Senator Ana Maria Rodriguez (R-Doral) and Representative Tommy Gregory (R-Sarasota) filed SB 744 & HB 351, titled the “Florida Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act.” These important bills prohibit the killing of unborn children who are capable of feeling pain.
“We have an obligation to be the voice of the unborn, who are too often not valued as individuals with the right to chart their own life” says Rodriguez, a mother of two sons. “It is vital that the state of Florida takes action to protect these innocent lives.”
If passed, these bills would prohibit abortions where an unborn child has reached the in-utero developmental threshold at which the child is able to feel pain. Scientific evidence puts this time at approximately 20 weeks gestational age. Pain felt at this developmental stage causes fetal distress and physical reaction to the pain.
“As a society, we value the dignity of life. This is why we celebrate births, condemn murder, care for our elderly, and mourn our dead,” says Gregory, a retired Air Force JAG. “The question we must ask ourselves is whether we value all lives equally, or if some lives are worth more than others, depending on the age of the person. Do all lives really matter? Florida must take the bold stance of answering that question with a resounding ‘Yes’.”
In 2019, a poll conducted in Florida by Susan B. Anthony List had 51% of respondents identified as “pro life” and 49% as “pro choice.” The poll found that 76% of Floridians polled support a ban on abortions at 5 months gestation, with only 24% in support of late-term abortion.
Senator Rodriguez was born and raised in Miami, Florida and now lives in Homestead. She is married and has two sons. This is Senator Rodriguez’ first term in the Florida Senate. She previously served in the Florida House of Representatives from 2018-2020.
Representative Gregory is a second term member representing parts of Manatee and Sarasota Counties. Gregory is the Judiciary Whip and a member of the Judiciary Committee. A retired U.S. Air Force lieutenant colonel and member of the JAG Corps, Gregory lives in eastern Sarasota County with his wife and three sons.