The expansion of Florida’s Wrongful Death Act to cover unborn children is the subject of a proposed measure that has sparked a heated discussion on fetal personhood and abortion rights. The legal status of unborn fetuses, abortion rights, and wrongful death have all been brought to light by this controversial legislation.
Important Laws in Florida
Let’s examine the laws’ provisions and how they relate to the ongoing discussion.
- When someone dies as a result of the carelessness or wrongdoing of another person, Florida’s Wrongful Death Act permits lawsuits. But as things stand now, the Act only covers people who were born alive; unborn embryos are not recognized by the law or given any protection.
- By giving unborn children legal protections and enabling parents to bring wrongful death claims on behalf of babies that were murdered due to carelessness or wrongdoing, the proposed measure aims to reverse this. However, statutes and court decisions upholding the constitutional right to an abortion established by the seminal Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade control Florida’s abortion regulations.
- Abortion is lawful in Florida up until fetal viability, which is typically defined as roughly 24 weeks of gestation. Abortions are only allowed after viability if they are required to protect the pregnant person’s health or life.
Furthermore, Florida law contains clauses that, in certain situations, expressly address the legal standing of unborn embryos. One example of a statute that applies in situations when a fetus is murdered or wounded as a result of criminal action is fetal homicide or injury, which is included in the state’s criminal code. These laws offer legal safeguards in situations where unborn infants are harmed and acknowledge the worth of fetal life.
However, because of its possible effects on abortion rights and reproductive autonomy, the proposed extension of the Wrongful Death Act to unborn infants has generated controversy. The bill’s opponents contend that it might make it harder for pregnant people to distinguish between their rights and fetal personhood, which might make it more difficult for women to get abortions and other reproductive healthcare.
In addition, supporters of the law contend that it is an essential step in acknowledging the worth and dignity of unborn life. They argue that giving fetuses legal safeguards is in line with the state’s duty to safeguard innocent lives and provide justice for families that lose a pregnancy as a result of carelessness or misconduct.
The Florida measure presents difficult legal and moral issues about abortion, fetal personhood, and reproductive rights as the discussion over it goes on. Although current legislation offers a structure for tackling matters concerning wrongful death and fetal protection, the proposed extension of the Wrongful Death Act to encompass unborn infants highlights the continuous conflicts between conflicting interests and principles within the domain of reproductive justice.