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Recently, the Florida House approved the bi-partisan House Bill 403, which would allow citizens with LTC licenses to carry guns on the grounds of churches or any other place of worship. The Senate version of this bill, SB1238, has passed one committee but is still waiting to be heard by two other panels with just over one week left in the legislative session. Current law generally allows citizens that are licensed to carry in places of worship but bars most people from having guns at schools. This is problematic whenever churches and schools come together and use the same property. This legislation would allow churches to authorize individuals to carry for purposes of personal protection effectively rectifying this issue.
Advocates of this legislation argue that religious persecution is on the rise and this legislation would provide men and women of faith the ability to protect themselves. They feel it is absurd that legislation like this needs to be passed to begin with because the right to bear arms is a fundamental constitutional right. Supporters say this bill is a fair and balanced approach considering it allows churches to individually determine if they want to authorize an individual to protect themselves on school grounds. Many say this bill would help to prevent unnecessary deaths.
Opponents of this bill argue that arming church attendees is not the solution, implementing stricter gun legislation in which gun rights are restricted is. Putting guns in the hands of the religious will not guarantee that these shootings will stop. It can also be argued that gun free zones have proven to be much safer than the alternative zones where good law-abiding citizens are armed.
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Lawmakers are considering legislation which would make it a crime to perform or obtain an abortion in Florida after a fetal heartbeat is detected, except in a medical emergency. This bill would prohibit a physician from performing or inducing an abortion on a pregnant woman if it has been determined that the fetus has a detectable heartbeat. Under this bill a physician would still be able to perform an abortion in the event of a medical emergency or if it has been determined there is no detectable heartbeat.
Those in favor argue that unborn babies have to be protected because they cannot protect themselves. They point out that anything else with a heartbeat is considered alive so why would a baby not be? Advocates say people would not be ok with murdering a person outside the womb with a heartbeat so why is it ok to murder one inside the womb. Former U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, now an anti-abortion advocate, said, “It’s not a piece of flesh. It’s not a bug. It’s not a parasite. It’s a little baby.” Supporters feel that abortions often lead to depression and can cause the woman physical harm. Maybe even keep them from being able to have a family later on in life. They point out that there are many families in this country who cannot have children and want them, adoption is always an option.
Those against argue that most women don’t even know that they are pregnant by the time the heartbeat starts, which is usually around 6 weeks gestation, leaving them with no options at all. Opponents also take issue with the fact that the bill does not include exceptions for rape. This bill would interfere with a woman’s fundamental right to her own body. Many fear this bill would lead to a long and very costly court battle for the state. Many fear this bill would lead to illegal back alley abortions because a woman found out too late that she was pregnant and became desperate. The bill stands to be yet another barrier for a woman attempting to access a safe and legal procedure.
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