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State lawmakers react to bills making national headlines

Posted at 9:55 AM, Feb 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-02-06 09:55:30-05

Florida lawmakers debated several hot-button issues this week, including abortion rights, election laws and the teaching of critical race theory.

Democratic State Senator Tina Polsky told WPTV’s Michael Williams she wished lawmakers would have waited for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the Mississippi abortion case before introducing a bill that would ban almost all abortions in Florida after 15 weeks.

“Why we are doing it now to me, it is just a political ploy for the far right wing agenda,” Sen. Polsky, who represents District 29 said on “To The Point.” “It's not what the majority of Floridians want. Fifteen weeks makes no sense. There is no medical reasoning for that number and they wouldn't allow an exception for rape or for incest. I just don't understand why they want to interfere in a woman's decision about her own health."

Local state lawmakers react to bills making national headlines

Republican State Representative Toby Overdorf, who represents District 83, said he supports the bill saying by 15 weeks women would have enough time to make a decision.

"To those women that have the right to choose unfortunately that person that is inside you does not have the right choice and cannot voice their choice so for that I'm really an advocate for the unborn," Rep. Overdorf said.

Another bill that has created a lot of talk in Tallahassee is one that would ban Critical Race Theory teachings in schools. Democrats say the bill could have an effect on race education but republicans say the bill aims to ensure the teaching of equality and judgment of individual merits, not a person’s color.

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“Part of the reason I support this is that our history deserves to be taught, the good, the bad, and the ugly,” Rep. Overdorf said. “If we know what the negative is then hopefully that history will never ever be repeated again but to say that I, living in 2022, should feel a certain way because a group of individuals in 1820, or whenever it may be, acted in a certain way I just cannot equate to that and I don't think our children should be made to feel that way about an act that happened in our history.”

"I don't understand why people are so afraid of learning about other people. As I said in a debate in my committee, education is supposed to open up your eyes, not shelter you. If you want to shelter your children, homeschool them," Sen. Polsky said.

Both bills have yet to reach the full Senate or House. The end of the legislative session is in early March.

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