Governor Ron DeSantis signs bills to better protect children and women

DORAL, FL – Governor Ron DeSantis signs bills to better protect children and women, as announced by his office late Thursday. “Jordan’s Law” it’s the first and measure SB 698, the second. 

‘‘Jordan’s Law” was named for Jordan Belliveau Jr., a 2-year-old boy who was murdered in 2018 in Pinellas County. Her mother was charged for this crime.

The bill (HB 43), sponsored by Rep. Chris Latvala, R-Clearwater, and Sen. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, includes several changes in the child-welfare system, such as expanding communications between the Department of Children and Families and law-enforcement agencies.

In addition to this, the bill includes training to recognize and respond to head trauma and brain injuries suffered by children of law enforcement officers and other people involved in the child-welfare system, as reported by Orlando Sentinel. 

According to statements made by Rep. Chris Latvala last year when he announced his intentions to pursue the bill, Jordan’s murder could have been prevented if it weren’t for the failures the system has. The same system that failed to identify warning signs before Jordan was murdered. 

“As the number of kids in our child welfare system continues to rise, we can’t wait any longer to take action. If the serious flaws within Florida’s child welfare system are not fixed, more children will die.”

Among the bills to better protect children and women, Gov. Ron DeSantis also signed a measure (SB 698) that will prevent health-care practitioners from conducting inappropriate pelvic exams on women  and without written consent, as well as misconduct by doctors who provide fertility treatment.

“Women seeking fertility treatment in Florida will now be protected from a group of predatory physicians who commit selfish narcissistic acts, and pelvic exams will now require specific consent, except in cases of emergency, finally halting the wholly inappropriate practice of unapproved pelvic exams on unconscious women, where, at best, these exams have been wrongful learning experiences for medical students or at worst, the equivalent of a sexual assault,” Senate sponsor Lauren Book, D-Plantation, said in a prepared statement Thursday night cited by Orlando Sentinel. 

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