Harming a fetus while committing a crime, no matter how small the embryo, would carry stiffer penalties under a proposed law now awaiting Florida Gov. Rick Scott's signature.
The legislation approved Wednesday by the Senate is modeled after a federal law used to bring charges against John Andrew Welden, the Tampa man who tricked ex-girlfriend Remee Jo Lee into taking an abortion drug that caused her to miscarry a 7-week-old embryo.
Florida would join 23 states that allow offenders to be charged separately for causing the death of a fetus at any stage of development. Under current Florida law, charges can only be brought in the death of fetuses that could have survived outside of the womb and only in cases of vehicular homicide, DUI manslaughter and killing by injury to the mother.
The governor will sign off on HB 59 once it lands on his desk, a spokesman said Wednesday.
"Gov. Scott is pro-life and believes that the lives of unborn children must be protected," John Tupps said. "He looks forward to signing this legislation."
Lee cried after legislators passed the legislation.