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.
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.
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.
(© Copyright 2020 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)