(The Center Square) – Florida’s Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book has filed three pro-abortion bills for the 2024 legislative season.
Senate Bill 256 focuses on crisis pregnancy centers – clinics that provide a variety of reproductive services for free to the community, including prenatal care and anti-abortion counseling. The clinics are not required to be licensed or inspected and Book, D-Plantation, wants regulation.
Senate Bill 254 would make it illegal to protest within 150 feet of a reproductive clinic, and bans harassment of people working in these facilities or accessing them. A first offense will receive a warning from law enforcement, then fines up to $500 for recurring offenses.
Book, writing on social media, says, “Women deserve access to legitimate and trusted reproductive health care services, and the freedom to safely receive care without fear of misinformation, harassment, or harm. That’s why I’m fighting for pro-woman, pro-choice policies in Florida.”
Senate Bill 34, introduced in September, would prevent pregnant women from facing potential criminal prosecution for receiving an abortion.
Andrew Shirvell, founder and executive director of Florida Voice for the Unborn, told The Center Square the legislation is a publicity stunt.
“Senate bills 34 and 254 represent nothing more than the latest publicity stunts from an irrelevant, fanatically pro-abortion Democrat faction within a pro-life supermajority Florida Legislature,” Shirvell said. “Florida Voice for the Unborn expects our pro-life legislative leaders, and pro-life Governor Ron DeSantis, to ensure that these bills never receive a hearing in any legislative committees or subcommittees during the upcoming 2024 legislative session.”
Floridians Protecting Freedom has launched a statewide petition to put abortion rights on the ballot for voters in 2024 – in response to DeSantis banning abortion from six weeks gestation.
Book, on social media, says the DeSantis administration is afraid to allow voters to decide on abortion rights. Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody told the Supreme Court that she will oppose the measure and stop it from being included on the ballot.
“We will win this latest challenge, we will put abortion rights on the ballot, and voters will choose to restore women’s rights,” Book said.
Book introduced similar bills during the 2023 regular session, however, they were nixed during committee.