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Controversial Abortion Waiting Period Bill Moves Forward In House

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MIAMI (CBSMiami/NSF) -- House members approved a controversial bill that would make women wait 24 hours before getting an abortion.

The bill (HB 633), approved Thursday, filed by Rep. Jennifer Sullivan, R-Mount Dora, is one step away from going to the House floor, though a Senate version (SB 724) has not been heard in committees.

Supporters of the bill said during Thursday's meeting of the House Judiciary Committee that a waiting period would give women time to reflect on whether they want to go ahead with abortions.

Sullivan also disputed arguments that requiring women to wait would effectively hamper access to abortions.

But opponents said, in part, that a waiting period is not medically necessary and that the bill would not include exceptions for women who become pregnant because of rape, incest or human trafficking.

"I think women are empowered enough. They don't need our help. They don't need this bill,'' said Rep. Dave Kerner, D-Lake Worth.

The bill next would go to the House Health & Human Services Committee.

(The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.)

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