Florida ‘Humanity of the Unborn Child Act’ (HB 841)
This law was last updated on Jul 5, 2017
HB 841 would require the Department of Health to develop informational material “to protect and nurture the rights of unborn children to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.”
The bill would require the State Department of Health to develop and maintain an electronic form containing information concerning public and private agencies and services available to assist an individual through pregnancy, upon childbirth and while the child is dependent, which shall include a comprehensive list of the agencies available, including adoption agencies, a description of the services they offer and a description of the manner, including telephone numbers and email addresses, by which they might be contacted.
The Department’s website would be required to include the following statement:
“There are many public and private agencies willing and able to help you carry your child to term and assist you and your child after your child is born, whether you choose to keep your child or to place him or her for adoption. The State of Florida strongly urges you to contact them if you are pregnant and in need of assistance.”
HB 841 would require the State Department of Health to develop and make available materials designed to provide accurate, scientifically verifiable information concerning the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the fetus at two-week gestational intervals.
The Department would be required to develop and distribute educational and informational materials to provide information through public service announcements on radio, television, the Internet, or print media for the purpose of achieving an abortion-free society. The materials must “clearly and consistently communicate that the elective termination of an unborn child kills a living human being.”
In addition, the Department would be required to:
- Provide technical assistance to help community-based organizations in the planning and implementation of abortion prevention, alternatives to abortion referral and education programs regarding the “humanity of the unborn child”
- Provide outreach, consultation, training and referral services that offer alternatives to abortion to schools, organizations and members of the community;
- Distribute educational and informational material concerning maternal behavior during pregnancy (avoiding tobacco, alcohol, and drugs, etc.); and
- Recommend to the State Department of Education scientifically verifiable information concerning the “unborn child” in the educational standards of science, family and consumer sciences and health classes.
The bill would require any facility providing obstetrical and birth control services, including, but not limited to, obstetrical care offices, public health clinics, hospitals, health clinics at public postsecondary educational institutions, or abortion referral or counseling agencies to display signs with the following statement:
“ONLY YOU CAN GIVE YOUR UNBORN CHILD A CHANCE TO LIVE A BEAUTIFUL AND PRODUCTIVE LIFE. THE STATE OF FLORIDA URGES YOU TO HELP PROMOTE YOUR CHILD’S RIGHT TO LIVE. THERE ARE PUBLIC AND PRIVATE AGENCIES WILLING AND ABLE TO HELP YOU CARRY YOUR CHILD TO TERM AND ASSIST YOU AND YOUR CHILD AFTER YOUR CHILD IS BORN, WHETHER YOU CHOOSE TO KEEP YOUR CHILD OR TO PLACE HIM OR HER FOR ADOPTION. THE STATE OF FLORIDA STRONGLY URGES YOU TO CONTACT THEM IF YOU ARE PREGNANT AND IN NEED OF ASSISTANCE.”
The State Department of Education, in collaboration with the Department of Health, would be required to establish an instructional program for public school students consistent with the provisions of this legislation. Local school boards would be able to determine the content. At minimum, the instructional program would need to include:
- Accurate, scientifically verifiable information regarding the probable anatomical and physiological characteristics of the fetus at different stages of gestation;
- Information on accessing prenatal health care; and
- The locations and contact information for public and private agencies and services available to assist an individual throughout their pregnancy.
Any person employed to deliver the instructional program may not refer any student to a medical facility or any provider for the performance of an abortion.
Similar to the “Humanity of the Unborn Child Act,” which was first introduced and became law in 2016 in Oklahoma.
Companion bill to SB 1006.