The Republican-dominated Florida Legislature on Thursday permitted a ban on abortions after six weeks of being pregnant, a proposal signed into regulation later within the day by GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis as he prepares for an anticipated presidential run.
The ban offers DeSantis a key political victory amongst Republican main voters as he prepares to launch a presidential candidacy constructed on his nationwide model as a conservative customary bearer.
The governor’s workplace stated in a press release late Thursday that he had signed the laws.
The six-week ban will take impact provided that the state’s present 15-week ban is upheld in an ongoing authorized problem that’s earlier than the state Supreme Court docket, which is managed by conservatives.
The coverage would have wider implications for abortion entry all through the South within the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court docket’s resolution final yr overturning Roe v. Wade and leaving choices about abortion entry to states. Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi have banned abortion in any respect phases of being pregnant, whereas Georgia forbids the process after cardiac exercise might be detected, which is round six weeks.
“We have now the chance to guide the nationwide debate in regards to the significance of defending life and giving each baby the chance to be born and discover his or her function,” stated Republican Rep. Jenna Individuals-Mulicka, who carried the invoice within the Home.
Democrats and abortion-rights teams have criticized Florida’s proposal as excessive.
“This ban would stop 4 million Florida ladies of reproductive age from accessing abortion care after six weeks—earlier than many ladies even know they’re pregnant,” White Home press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre stated in a press release issued after Thursday’s vote. “This ban would additionally impression the practically 15 million ladies of reproductive age who reside in abortion-banning states all through the South, lots of whom have beforehand relied on journey to Florida as an choice to entry care.”
The regulation accommodates some exceptions, together with to avoid wasting the lady’s life. Abortions for pregnancies involving rape or incest can be allowed till 15 weeks of being pregnant, supplied a lady has documentation corresponding to a restraining order or police report. DeSantis has referred to as the rape and incest provisions wise.
Medicine utilized in medication-induced abortions—which make up nearly all of these supplied nationally—might be disbursed solely in particular person or by a doctor beneath the Florida regulation. Individually, nationwide entry to the abortion capsule mifepristone is being challenged in court docket.
“I can’t consider any invoice that’s going to offer extra protections to extra people who find themselves extra weak than this piece of laws,” stated Republican Rep. Mike Beltran, who stated the invoice’s exceptions and six-week timeframe represented a compromise.
Abortion bans are well-liked amongst some non secular conservatives who’re a part of the GOP voting base, however the concern has motivated many others to vote for Democrats. Republicans in current weeks and months have suffered defeats in elections centered on abortion entry in states corresponding to Kentucky, Michigan and Wisconsin.
“Have we realized nothing?” Home Democratic Minority Chief Fentrice Driskell stated of current elections in different states. “Can we not take heed to our constituents and to the folks of Florida and what they’re asking for?”
DeSantis, who usually locations himself on the entrance strains of tradition conflict points, had stated he backs the six-week ban however had appeared uncharacteristically tepid on the invoice. He has usually stated, “We welcome pro-life laws,” when requested in regards to the coverage.
DeSantis is predicted to announce his presidential candidacy after the session ends in Might, together with his potential White Home run partially buoyed by the conservative insurance policies permitted by the Republican supermajority within the Statehouse this yr.
Democrats, with out energy at any stage of state authorities, had principally turned to stall ways and protests to oppose the invoice, which simply handed each chambers on largely party-line votes. The Senate permitted it final week, and the Home did so Thursday.
A Democratic senator and chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Get together have been arrested and charged with trespassing throughout a protest in Tallahassee in opposition to the six-week ban. In a final ditch transfer to delay the invoice’s passage within the Home on Thursday, Democrats filed dozens of amendments to the proposal, all of which have been rejected by Republicans.
“Ladies’s well being and their private proper to decide on is being stolen,” stated Democratic Rep. Felicia Simone Robinson. “So I ask: Is Florida really a free state?”