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A view of the old Florida Capitol building, which sits in front of the current Capitol building, in Tallahassee. Photo: Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

A Florida lawmaker introduced a bill Wednesday modeled after Texas' new law prohibiting abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, or roughly six weeks — before many people know they are pregnant.

Why it matters: Similar bills introduced to the Florida legislature have failed, but that was before the Supreme Court declined to block Texas' law, which is the most restrictive abortion law to be enforced since the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision legalized abortion nationwide in 1973, according to AP.

The Florida bill, introduced by state Republican Rep. Webster Barnaby, allows private citizens to sue others that either performed or “aided or abetted” the procedure.

  • Florida's bill would allow people to sue others six months after an illegal abortion is performed unlike the four allotted by the Texas law. In both cases, the state would financially support the plaintiff in the lawsuit.
  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and several other Republican lawmakers said earlier this month that they could support an abortion law like the one in Texas.

The big picture: The Supreme Court has not ruled on the constitutionality of Texas' abortion law and it has been challenged by multiple abortion rights organizations and other entities, including the Department of Justice.

  • The Supreme Court's five conservative justices said in an unsigned opinion this month that allowing the ban to remain in place should not be read as an indication of whether the court believes the law is unconstitutional.
  • However, that hasn't stopped citizens from using the law to sue other people. A San Antonio physician is now facing a lawsuit after saying he performed an abortion considered illegal under Texas' new law.

Go deeper: HHS issues new protections for Texas abortion providers, patients

Go deeper

Dec 30, 2021 - World

Biden admin seeks in Supreme Court filing to end "Remain in Mexico" program

Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and President Biden at the White House this year. Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Biden administration asked the Supreme Court on Wednesday to rule on whether it is required to keep the Trump-era "Remain in Mexico" policy.

Why it matters: President Biden was forced by a court order this month to restart the controversial program, which makes asylum seekers wait in Mexico for U.S. court hearings. The administration is seeking to end the program, again, per Axios' Stef Kight.

Updated 1 hour ago - Energy & Environment

Bomb cyclone prompts blizzard warnings from Virginia to Maine

Computer model projection showing the intense storm off of Cape Cod on Jan 29, 2022, with heavy snow and strong winds lashing the coastline. (Weatherbell.com)

Blizzard warnings are in effect for 11 million people from coastal Virginia to eastern Maine as a powerful and potentially historic winter storm is set to slam the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast beginning Friday.

Why it matters: The storm will bring an array of hazards, from zero visibility amid hurricane force wind gusts and heavy snow to coastal flooding that will erode vulnerable beaches and threaten coastal property from the Jersey shore to coastal Massachusetts.

Republican-led Pennsylvania court deems mail-in voting law unconstitutional

Workers count ballots for the 2020 Presidential election at the Philadelphia Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S., on Nov. 3, 2020. Photo: Hannah Yoon/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Republican-led Pennsylvania court on Friday ruled that the state's mail-in voting law is unconstitutional.

Driving the news: Three Republican judges sided with Republican challengers and ruled that no-excuse mail-in voting is prohibited under the state's constitution. Two Democrats on the panel dissented.