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 | Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops

Catholic Bishops of Florida Praise Passage of Legislation Prohibiting Abortion After 15 Weeks

March 3, 2022 – The bishops of Florida commend Florida’s legislature for passing HB 5 that limits when abortions can be legally obtained in Florida to 15 weeks of pregnancy. This pro-life measure also includes provisions to improve infant health and analyze and reduce fetal and infant mortality.

“While we continue to look forward to the day when the full protection of unborn life is recognized in law, we are encouraged that HB 5 further limits the grave harm that abortion inflicts upon women and children,” said Christie Arnold, associate for social concerns and respect life.

In an incremental, yet important, step, the bill provides at least eight additional weeks of protection for children in the womb. Current Florida law prohibits abortion when a child is viable, or able to survive outside the womb (currently closer to 24 weeks).

HB 5 closely tracks the Mississippi law at issue in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case pending at the U.S. Supreme Court, which could reverse the unjust ruling in Roe v. Wade. If the Supreme Court upholds Mississippi’s law, Florida’s legislation will likely be upheld.

The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB) applauds legislative leaders and especially bill sponsors, Senator Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland) and Representative Erin Grall (R-Vero Beach), who courageously accomplished the difficult task of advancing this historic legislation through the committee process and floor debate in the Florida House and Senate.

The FCCB is grateful that Governor Ron DeSantis has expressed support for this legislation and looks forward to the governor signing HB 5 into law.

The Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops is an agency of the Catholic Bishops of Florida. It speaks for the Church in matters of public policy and serves as liaison to the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. The archbishop and bishops of the seven (arch)dioceses in Florida constitute its board of directors.