What’s on tap for week four of the legislative session

by | Feb 3, 2020

We are nearing the halfway point of the 2020 Legislative Session, with several big bills still on the table for consideration.

Lawmakers are entering the fourth week of the annual 60-day Legislative Session, and things are officially cooking inside both chamber. A number of important measures are up for debate this week — including legislation that seeks to prevent altering the sex of a minor.

Here are some of those bills to keep an eye:

HB 1365Vulnerable Child Protection Act

A measure that will hold health care practitioners accountable for changing the sex of a minor is up for discussion on Monday, as lawmakers in the Health Quality Subcommittee will hold a workshop.

The House bill, known as the “Vulnerable Child Protection Act,” would make it a second-degree felony for a health care provider to change the sex of a minor.

According to the legislation, “A health care practitioner who engages in any of the following practices upon a minor, or who causes such practices to be performed upon a minor, for the purpose of attempting to change the minor’s sex, or for the purpose of affirming the minor’s perception of the minor’s sex if that perception is inconsistent with the minor’s sex, commits a felony of the second degree…”

Those practices include:

  • “Performing surgeries that sterilize, including castration, vasectomy, hysterectomy, oophorectomy, metoidioplasty, orchiectomy, penectomy, phalloplasty, and vaginoplasty”
  • “Performing a mastectomy”
  • “Administering, prescribing, or supplying the following medications that induce transient or permanent infertility”
  • “Removing any otherwise healthy or nondiseased body part or tissue”

The bill was put forth by Republican Anthony Sabatini. A companion bill (SB 1864) was also filed in Senate, with Senator Dennis Baxley being the lead sponsor on that side.

The proposal has received immense backlash from progressives attempting to change the definition of words, especially those that revolve around biology.

HB 1217Surrendered Newborn Infants

A bill that would protect newborns and provide safe haven for them will be considered on Tuesday by the Health Market Reform Subcommittee.

The measure, introduced by Rep. Mike Beltran, would authorize hospitals, emergency medical services stations, & fire stations to use newborn safety devices to accept surrendered newborn infants.

The legislation would expand the existing Florida Safe Haven Law to include baby boxes as a legal option to surrender a baby.

As it stands, it is legal to surrender a baby to a fire station, however, such an interaction deters mothers from leaving newborns in safe places. Beltran’s bill seeks to remedy this issue, cutting out the interaction altogether.

Illegal infant abandonments continue to plague the state of Florida. The Sunshine State currently ranks among the highest in such cases of neglect.17 cases on abandonment have reported in the state since 2017.


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