Drug Tampering Case May Give New Life to Long-Stalled Florida Anti-Choice Bill

Florida state Rep. Larry Ahern (R-St. Petersburg) has never managed to get his “Offenses Against Unborn Children” bill passed through both chambers of the Florida legislature, but he is hoping that with a new name and help from the woman whose boyfriend allegedly tricked her into taking medication that caused her to have an early abortion, 2014 may be the year he finally succeeds.

Rep. Ahern told the Tampa Bay Times in an interview published Sunday that he is considering refiling his bill next month to be considered for the 2014 legislative session, but this time he may name it after Memphis Remington, the name that Remee Lee was reportedly going to give to her child, if she hadn’t lost her pregnancy at almost 7 weeks. Ahern said he will consider the name change to “personalize the issue and help gather the support it needs to pass.” He added, “It could help keep this issue out there.”

Lee’s lawyer said Lee will lobby lawmakers during the trial, and will consider public statements in support of a bill once the trial is complete if a bill has not yet passed.

If the new “Memphis Remington” bill is to be anything the most recent version of Ahern’s bill, it would change the legal code to say that if a pregnancy ends or a fetus or embryo is injured as a result of a crime, there will be an additional criminal charge, regardless of the viability of the pregnancy at the time the crime occurs. That bill also stated that the perpetrator of the crime does not need to have knowledge that the person is pregnant at the time the crime occurs in order to be charged. The bill specifically sought to strike language in the current law, which applies only to “quick” pregnancies, or pregnancies that have reached the point of fetal viability.

The bill died in the senate during the 2013 session, the 2012 session, and the 2010 session.

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