Florida Legislature
Florida House of Representatives

The 2014 Florida Legislature passed a number of bills relating to health care, most of them modest in scope. 

But at least one that passed will probably save lives: the Child Welfare Act, which in part responds to the deaths of 477 children who were supposed to be under the protection of the Department of Children and Families.

The DCF overhaul had already begun before the session, but was intensified after the Miami Herald published the series Innocents Lost.

A House committee has approved a measure that would amend state abortion law, making the ability of a fetus to survive outside the womb through standard medical care the threshold for termination.

The bill (HB 1047) passed the House Health and Human Services Committee by a 12-5 vote on Thursday.

Current Florida law uses the third trimester threshold to prohibit abortion, making anything after the 24th week of pregnancy illegal.

As if the rollout of the federal health law didn't have enough problems, abortion is back in the spotlight.

How the various health plans in the exchanges would or would not pay for abortion was one of the very last issues settled before the bill was passed in 2010. Now abortion's invisibility on the federal HealthCare.gov website has some people pretty upset.

Tampa Bay Times

In a plea deal agreement that will drop a murder charge down to product tampering and mail fraud, John Andrew Welden admitted he tricked his ex-girlfriend into taking medication that would cause her to miscarry her pregnancy, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Will Vragovic / Tampa Bay Times

John Andrew Welden, the man accused of tricking his ex-girlfriend into taking a pill that terminated her pregnancy, told investigators he didn’t want to bring a child into a divided home -- the kind he grew up in. 

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An editorial by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says that abortion doesn’t seem to be an issue of concern to most Floridians, but that isn’t stopping some conservative politicians, including U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, from trying to fiddle with the 24-week mark established by Roe v. Wade

John Andrew Welden, the 28-year-old accused of tricking Remee Jo Lee into taking a pill that ended her pregnancy, will stay in jail for now, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Magistrate Judge Anthony Porcelli didn’t make a decision during Thursday’s bail hearing.

The Senate Appropriations Committee tacked on language to a bill to loosen regulations for approving new trauma centers, the the Miami Herald reports. That's similar to a move a committee in the Florida House made earlier this week.

A bill that would make it harder for people with mental illness to obtain firearms passed the Florida House Judiciary Committee with no opposition, the Associated Press reports. The measure was sponsored by a Democratic lawmaker who cited an example of a mentally ill Dade County resident who had 200 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition. The bill even received support from the National Rifle Association. In other legislative news:

A bill that would put at least one armed person at public schools passed with bipartisan support in a House committee, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Schools would have to hire an armed guard unless the principal designated an employee with a concealed weapons permit to bring a gun on campus. A similar measure has stalled in the Senate.  In other legislative news:  

A bill that would require doctors to check with the state's drug database before writing a prescription for addictive medications passed today in a House panel despite the opposition of organized medicine.

The House Health Quality Subcommittee also passed two other controversial bills, one on abortion and one on workers' compensation.

The former requires health professionals and facilities to report it when an infant is born alive during an attempted abortion.  The bill gives the state automatic custody.

A Florida appeals court said the parental-notification law should be waived for a teen who wants an abortion without letting her parents know she is pregnant.