Florida Senate - 2013                                    SB 1072
       By Senator Evers
       2-01086-13                                            20131072__
    1                        A bill to be entitled                      
    2         An act relating to termination of pregnancy based on
    3         sex or race of the unborn child; providing a short
    4         title; providing findings and intent; amending s.
    5         390.0111, F.S.; requiring a person performing a
    6         termination of pregnancy to first sign an affidavit
    7         stating that he or she is not performing the
    8         termination of pregnancy because of the child’s sex or
    9         race and has no knowledge that the pregnancy is being
   10         terminated because of the child’s sex or race;
   11         providing criminal penalties; prohibiting performing,
   12         inducing, or actively participating in a termination
   13         of pregnancy knowing that it is sought based on the
   14         sex or race of the child or the race of a parent of
   15         that child, using force or the threat of force to
   16         intentionally injure or intimidate any person for the
   17         purpose of coercing a sex-selection or race-selection
   18         termination of pregnancy, and soliciting or accepting
   19         moneys to finance a sex-selection or race-selection
   20         termination of pregnancy; providing criminal
   21         penalties; providing for injunctions against specified
   22         violations; providing for civil actions by certain
   23         persons with respect to certain violations; specifying
   24         appropriate relief in such actions; authorizing civil
   25         fines of up to a specified amount against physicians
   26         and other medical or mental health professionals who
   27         knowingly fail to report known violations; providing
   28         that a mother who has not attained a specified age on
   29         whom a sex-selection or race-selection termination of
   30         pregnancy is performed is not subject to criminal
   31         prosecution or civil liability for any violation or
   32         for a conspiracy to commit a violation; conforming a
   33         cross-reference; providing an effective date.
   35         WHEREAS, women are a vital part of American society and
   36  culture and possess the same fundamental human rights and civil
   37  rights as men, and
   38         WHEREAS, United States law prohibits the dissimilar
   39  treatment of males and females who are similarly situated and
   40  prohibits sex discrimination in various contexts, including the
   41  provision of employment, education, housing, health insurance
   42  coverage, and athletics, and
   43         WHEREAS, sex is an immutable characteristic and is
   44  ascertainable at the earliest stages of human development
   45  through existing medical technology and procedures commonly in
   46  use, including maternal-fetal bloodstream DNA sampling,
   47  amniocentesis, chorionic villus sampling or “CVS,” and medical
   48  sonography. In addition to medically assisted sex-determinations
   49  carried out by medical professionals, a growing sex
   50  determination niche industry has developed and is marketing low
   51  cost commercial products, widely advertised and available, that
   52  aid in the sex determination of an unborn child without the aid
   53  of medical professionals. Experts have demonstrated that the
   54  sex-selection industry is on the rise and predict that it will
   55  continue to be a growing trend in the United States. Sex
   56  determination is always a necessary step to the procurement of a
   57  sex-selection abortion, and
   58         WHEREAS, a “sex-selection abortion” is an abortion
   59  undertaken for purposes of eliminating an unborn child of an
   60  undesired sex. Sex-selection abortion is barbaric and described
   61  by scholars and civil rights advocates as an act of sex-based or
   62  gender-based violence predicated on sex discrimination. By
   63  definition, sex-selection abortions do not implicate the health
   64  of the mother of the unborn but instead are elective procedures
   65  motivated by sex or gender bias, and
   66         WHEREAS, the targeted victims of sex-selection abortions
   67  performed in the United States and worldwide are overwhelmingly
   68  female. The selective abortion of females is female infanticide,
   69  the intentional killing of unborn females, due to the preference
   70  for male offspring or “son preference.” Son preference is
   71  reinforced by the low value associated, by some segments of the
   72  world community, with female offspring. Those segments tend to
   73  regard female offspring as financial burdens to a family over
   74  their lifetimes due to their perceived inability to earn or
   75  provide financially for the family unit as can a male. In
   76  addition, due to social and legal convention, female offspring
   77  are less likely to carry on the family name. Son preference is
   78  one of the most evident manifestations of sex or gender
   79  discrimination in any society, undermining female equality and
   80  fueling the elimination of a female’s right to exist in
   81  instances of sex-selection abortion, and
   82         WHEREAS, sex-selection abortions are not expressly
   83  prohibited by United States law and the laws of 48 states. Sex
   84  selection abortions are performed in the United States. In a
   85  March 2008 report published in the Proceedings of the National
   86  Academy of Sciences, Columbia University economists Douglas
   87  Almond and Lena Edlund examined the sex ratio of United States
   88  born children and found “evidence of sex selection, most likely
   89  at the prenatal stage.” The data revealed obvious “son
   90  preference” in the form of unnatural sex-ratio imbalances within
   91  certain segments of the United States population, primarily
   92  those segments tracing their ethnic or cultural origins to
   93  countries where sex-selection abortion is prevalent. The
   94  evidence strongly suggests that some Americans are exercising
   95  sex-selection abortion practices within the United States
   96  consistent with discriminatory practices common to their country
   97  of origin or the country to which they trace their ancestry.
   98  While sex-selection abortions are more common outside the United
   99  States, the evidence reveals that female infanticide is also
  100  occurring in the United States, and
  101         WHEREAS, the American public supports a prohibition of sex
  102  selection abortion. In a March 2006 Zogby International poll, 86
  103  percent of Americans agreed that sex-selection abortion should
  104  be illegal, yet only two states have proscribed sex-selection
  105  abortion, and
  106         WHEREAS, despite the failure of the United States to
  107  proscribe sex-selection abortion, the United States Congress has
  108  expressed repeatedly, through Congressional resolution, strong
  109  condemnation of policies promoting sex-selection abortion in the
  110  “Communist Government of China.” Likewise, at the 2007 United
  111  Nations’ Annual Meeting of the Commission on the Status of
  112  Women, 51st Session, the United States delegation spearheaded a
  113  resolution calling on countries to eliminate sex-selective
  114  abortion, a policy directly contradictory to the permissiveness
  115  of current United States law, which places no restriction on the
  116  practice of sex-selection abortion. The United Nations
  117  Commission on the Status of Women has urged governments of all
  118  nations “to take necessary measures to prevent . . . prenatal
  119  sex selection,” and
  120         WHEREAS, a 1990 report by Harvard University economist
  121  Amartya Sen estimated that more than 100 million women were
  122  “demographically missing” from the world as early as 1990 due to
  123  sexist practices, including sex-selection abortion. Many experts
  124  believe sex-selection abortion is the primary cause. As of 2008,
  125  estimates of women missing from the world range in the hundreds
  126  of millions, and
  127         WHEREAS, countries with longstanding experience with sex
  128  selection abortion, such as the Republic of India, the United
  129  Kingdom, and the People’s Republic of China, have enacted
  130  complete bans on sex-selection abortion and have steadily
  131  continued to strengthen prohibitions and penalties. The United
  132  States, by contrast, has no law in place to restrict sex
  133  selection abortion, establishing the United States as affording
  134  less protection from sex-based infanticide than the Republic of
  135  India or the People’s Republic of China, whose recent practices
  136  of sex-selection abortion were vehemently and repeatedly
  137  condemned by United States congressional resolutions and by the
  138  United States Ambassador to the Commission on the Status of
  139  Women. Public statements from within the medical community
  140  reveal that citizens of other countries come to the United
  141  States for sex-selection procedures that would be criminal in
  142  their countries of origin. Because the United States permits
  143  abortion on the basis of sex, the United States may effectively
  144  function as a “safe haven” for those who seek to have American
  145  physicians do what would otherwise be criminal in their home
  146  countries: a sex-selection abortion, most likely late-term, and
  147         WHEREAS, the American medical community opposes sex
  148  selection abortion. The American College of Obstetricians and
  149  Gynecologists, commonly known as “ACOG,” stated in its February
  150  2007 Ethics Committee Opinion, Number 360, that sex selection is
  151  inappropriate for family planning purposes because sex selection
  152  “ultimately supports sexist practices.” Likewise, the American
  153  Society for Reproductive Medicine has opined that sex selection
  154  for family planning purposes is ethically problematic, is
  155  inappropriate, and should be discouraged, and
  156         WHEREAS, sex-selection abortion results in an unnatural
  157  sex-ratio imbalance. An unnatural sex-ratio imbalance is
  158  undesirable due to the inability of the numerically predominant
  159  sex to find mates. Experts worldwide document that a significant
  160  sex-ratio imbalance in which males numerically predominate can
  161  be a cause of increased violence and militancy within a society.
  162  Likewise, an unnatural sex-ratio imbalance gives rise to the
  163  commoditization of humans in the form of human trafficking and a
  164  consequent increase in kidnapping and other violent crime, and
  165         WHEREAS, sex-selection abortions have the effect of
  166  diminishing the representation of women in the American
  167  population and, therefore, the American electorate, and
  168         WHEREAS, sex-selection abortion reinforces sex
  169  discrimination and has no place in a civilized society, and
  170         WHEREAS, minorities are a vital part of American society
  171  and culture and possess the same fundamental human rights and
  172  civil rights as the majority, and
  173         WHEREAS, United Sates law prohibits the dissimilar
  174  treatment of persons of different races who are similarly
  175  situated. United States law prohibits discrimination on the
  176  basis of race in various contexts, including the provision of
  177  employment, education, housing, health insurance coverage, and
  178  athletics, and
  179         WHEREAS, a “race-selection abortion” is an abortion
  180  performed for purposes of eliminating an unborn child because
  181  the child or a parent of the child is of an undesired race.
  182  Race-selection abortion is barbaric and described by civil
  183  rights advocates as an act of race-based violence predicated on
  184  race discrimination. By definition, race-selection abortions do
  185  not implicate the health of the mother of the unborn but instead
  186  are elective procedures motivated by race bias, and
  187         WHEREAS, no state has enacted law to proscribe the
  188  performance of race-selection abortions, and
  189         WHEREAS, race-selection abortions have the effect of
  190  diminishing the number of minorities in the American population
  191  and, therefore, the American electorate, and
  192         WHEREAS, race-selection abortion reinforces racial
  193  discrimination and has no place in a civilized society, and
  194         WHEREAS, the history of the United States includes examples
  195  of both sex discrimination and race discrimination. The people
  196  of the United States ultimately responded in the strongest
  197  possible legal terms by enacting constitutional amendments
  198  correcting elements of such discrimination. Women, once
  199  subjected to sex discrimination that denied them the right to
  200  vote, now have suffrage guaranteed by the Nineteenth Amendment
  201  to the United States Constitution. African Americans, once
  202  subjected to race discrimination through slavery that denied
  203  them equal protection under the law, now have that right
  204  guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States
  205  Constitution. The elimination of discriminatory practices has
  206  been and is among the highest priorities and greatest
  207  achievements of American history, and
  208         WHEREAS, implicitly approving the discriminatory practices
  209  of sex-selection abortion and race-selection abortion by
  210  choosing not to prohibit them will reinforce these inherently
  211  discriminatory practices and evidence a failure to protect a
  212  segment of certain unborn Americans because those unborn are of
  213  a sex or racial makeup that is disfavored. Sex-selection and
  214  race-selection abortions trivialize the value of the unborn on
  215  the basis of sex or race, reinforcing sex and race
  216  discrimination and coarsening society to the humanity of all
  217  vulnerable and innocent human life, making it increasingly
  218  difficult to protect such life. Thus, this state has a
  219  compelling interest in acting — indeed it must act — to prohibit
  220  sex-selection abortion and race-selection abortion, NOW,
  223  Be It Enacted by the Legislature of the State of Florida:
  225         Section 1. This act may be cited as the “Prenatal
  226  Nondiscrimination Act.”
  227         Section 2. The Legislature declares that there is no place
  228  for discrimination and inequality in human society in the form
  229  of abortion due to a child’s sex or race. Sex-selection and
  230  race-selection abortions are elective procedures that do not in
  231  any way implicate a woman’s health. The purpose of this act is
  232  to protect unborn children from prenatal discrimination in the
  233  form of being subjected to an abortion based on the child’s sex
  234  or race by prohibiting sex-selection or race-selection
  235  abortions. The intent of this act is not to establish or
  236  recognize a right to an abortion or to make lawful an abortion
  237  that is currently unlawful.
  238         Section 3. Subsections (6) through (13) of section
  239  390.0111, Florida Statutes, are renumbered as subsections (7)
  240  through (14), respectively, a new subsection (6) is added to
  241  that section, and present subsections (2) and (10) of that
  242  section are amended, to read:
  243         390.0111 Termination of pregnancies.—
  245         (a)A No termination of pregnancy may not shall be
  246  performed at any time except by a physician as defined in s.
  247  390.011.
  248         (b) A person may not knowingly perform a termination of
  249  pregnancy before that person completes and signs an affidavit
  250  stating that he or she is not performing the termination of
  251  pregnancy because of the child’s sex or race and has no
  252  knowledge that the pregnancy is being terminated because of the
  253  child’s sex or race.
  254         (6) SEX AND RACE SELECTION.—
  255         (a) A person may not knowingly do any of the following:
  256         1. Perform, induce, or actively participate in a
  257  termination of pregnancy knowing that it is sought based on the
  258  sex or race of the child or the race of a parent of that child.
  259         2. Use force or the threat of force to intentionally injure
  260  or intimidate any person for the purpose of coercing a sex
  261  selection or race-selection termination of pregnancy.
  262         3. Solicit or accept moneys to finance a sex-selection or
  263  race-selection termination of pregnancy.
  264         (b) The Attorney General or the state attorney may bring an
  265  action in circuit court to enjoin an activity described in
  266  paragraph (a).
  267         (c) The father of the unborn child who is married to the
  268  mother at the time she receives a sex-selection or race
  269  selection termination of pregnancy, or, if the mother has not
  270  attained 18 years of age at the time of the termination of
  271  pregnancy, the maternal grandparents of the unborn child, may
  272  bring a civil action on behalf of the unborn child to obtain
  273  appropriate relief with respect to a violation of paragraph (a).
  274  The court may award reasonable attorney fees as part of the
  275  costs in an action brought pursuant to this subsection. For the
  276  purposes of this subsection, “appropriate relief” includes
  277  monetary damages for all injuries, whether psychological,
  278  physical, or financial, including loss of companionship and
  279  support, resulting from the violation.
  280         (d) A physician, physician’s assistant, nurse, counselor,
  281  or other medical or mental health professional who knowingly
  282  does not report known violations of this subsection to
  283  appropriate law enforcement authorities shall be subject to a
  284  civil fine of not more than $10,000.
  285         (e) A mother of an unborn child on whom a sex-selection or
  286  race-selection termination of pregnancy is performed who has not
  287  attained 18 years of age at the time of the termination of
  288  pregnancy is not subject to criminal prosecution or civil
  289  liability for any violation of this subsection or for a
  290  conspiracy to violate this subsection.
  291         (11)(10) PENALTIES FOR VIOLATION.—Except as provided in
  292  subsections (3) and (8) (7):
  293         (a) Any person who willfully performs, or actively
  294  participates in, a termination of pregnancy procedure in
  295  violation of the requirements of this section commits a felony
  296  of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s.
  297  775.083, or s. 775.084.
  298         (b) Any person who performs, or actively participates in, a
  299  termination of pregnancy procedure in violation of the
  300  provisions of this section which results in the death of the
  301  woman commits a felony of the second degree, punishable as
  302  provided in s. 775.082, s. 775.083, or s. 775.084.
  303         Section 4. This act shall take effect October 1, 2013.