MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) – Medical professionals will not be able to perform pelvic exams on unconscious patients without their informed consent under a bill signed by Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The new law that goes into effect July 1 also bans doctors and health care practitioners from inseminating a woman or implanting an embryo using their own reproductive material.READ MORE: Miami Weather: Arctic Air Moving In For Weekend Freeze
The bill was a priority for Democratic Sen. Lauren Book, who has spent her adult life trying to protect people from sexual abuse.
“To be a woman and to be unconscious … with people doing medical procedures on you without your knowledge, they don’t tell you, that’s a terribly bad thing,” Book said.
Book said she was horrified to learn the exams are performed on women under anesthesia as a teaching tool for medical students, unbeknownst to patients. She said no woman should have her vagina examined without her consent, regardless of the intent.READ MORE: Cold Weather Coming, Protect The Four P's: People, Pets, Plants, Property
The House sponsor, Democratic Rep. Evan Jenne, praised DeSantis for signing the bill.
“Both things were happening in Florida on a daily basis,” Jenne said. “Unconsented pelvic exams were taking place in the state of Florida. We know of doctors … that were using their sperm without telling their fertility patients. Both of those things now come to an end.”
Jenne expressed amazement that there was even a need for the new law.
“It’s proof that we’re living on the darkest timeline that we actually have to say, ‘Hey, you can’t do that,'” Jenne said.MORE NEWS: Severe Winter Weather In Northeast Expected To Disrupt Flights At South Florida Airports
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)