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Fertility Legislation Among 21 Bills Sent To DeSantis

Gov. Ron DeSantis
Governor's Press Office
The Florida Channel
Gov. Ron DeSantis has until June 18 to act on the bills.

A proposal that would make it a third-degree felony to intentionally implant a human embryo into a woman without her consent is one of 21 bills sent to Gov. Ron DeSantis on Wednesday.

The measures were approved during the 2020 legislative session that ended in March.

The fertility bill (SB 698) was sponsored by Sen. Lauren Book, a Plantation Democrat who said the bill is aimed at fertility doctors that have used their own sperm to inseminate women who expected a different donor.

“Horrifyingly, women are sometimes inseminated or implanted with the wrong biological specimens, especially specimens that they did not consent to, because of neglect, specimen storage practices or even predatory physicians who intentionally inseminate patients with their own biological material,” Book said during a March 4 floor session.

“When this occurs, families are often left with very little recourse. It's like the wild, wild west. The law has not caught up with the medical science to protect women who seek help from fertility specialists.”

The bill also prohibits health care practitioners and medical students from conducting a pelvic examination on a patient without the written consent of the patient or the patient’s legal representative, unless they have received a court order for the procedure to collect evidence or in case of a medical emergency.

Among the other proposals awaiting action by DeSantis is a measure (SB 226) that would require athletic trainers to work within the scope of their practice as defined by the Board of Athletic Trainers. Another bill (SB 1050) would allow state employees to take up to 120 hours a year of paid leave to serve as a volunteer during a declared state of emergency. DeSantis has until June 18 to act on the bills.