Florida issues emergency rules to combat Biden abortion ‘misinformation’  — By: Catholic News Agency

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Washington, D.C. Newsroom, May 2, 2024 / 18:20 pm (CNA).

The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) released a pair of emergency rules that it said are aimed at combating “misinformation” and a “deeply dishonest scare campaign” by the Biden administration about the state’s new six-week pro-life law. 

The rules, published on May 1, establish guidance for lifesaving measures and clarify that certain procedures, including treatment for ectopic pregnancies, are not considered abortion and remain legal under the Florida Heartbeat Protection Act, which went into effect on Wednesday.  

This comes amid significant criticism over the state’s pro-life law that prohibits abortions on women after six weeks of pregnancy except for in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is in danger. The new AHCA rules further clarify those exceptions. 

“The agency finds there is an immediate danger to the health, safety, and welfare of pregnant women and babies due to a deeply dishonest scare campaign and disinformation being perpetuated by the media, the Biden administration, and advocacy groups to misrepresent the Heartbeat Protection Act and the state’s efforts to protect life, moms, and families,” the AHCA wrote in both rules. “The agency is initiating rulemaking to safeguard against any immediate harm that could come to pregnant women due to disinformation.” 

“This rulemaking,” the AHCA goes on, “will ensure health care providers establish medical records procedures that will adequately protect the care and safety of both mothers and their unborn babies during medical emergencies.”

The rules state that “regardless of gestational age,” treatment for ectopic pregnancies, premature rupture of membranes, trophoblastic tumors, and “other life-threatening conditions” is “not to be considered an abortion and shall not be reported [as such]” even if those procedures inadvertently result in the death of the unborn child. 

In a “Myth vs. Fact” sheet published the same day, the AHCA also clarified that “Florida law does not prohibit the removal of the pregnancy for women who experience a miscarriage in any circumstance.” 

The Biden administration has been outspoken about its opposition to Florida’s six-week law. Vice President Kamala Harris gave a speech in Jacksonville, Florida, on Wednesday in which she condemned the Florida pro-life law as “extreme” and dangerous for the health and safety of women. 

President Joe Biden also attacked Florida’s six-week law in a campaign speech in Tampa on April 23. He blamed former President Donald Trump and Republicans for unleashing a “nightmare” on American women. 

Florida state Sen. Lauren Book said that “women and girls will die” because of the law.  

AHCA Secretary Jason Weida issued a statement the same as the rule in which he said: “The pro-abortion left is lying for political gain. The attempts to demonize standard health care for women make a physician’s job more difficult and can put a pregnant woman’s life at risk. The Heartbeat Protection Act protects women from life-threatening complications while protecting the life of the unborn.” 

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