DeSantis Signs 6-Week Abortion Ban in Florida

April 14, 2023

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Thursday evening signed a bill into law banning most abortions in that state after six weeks.

The move comes after the Florida state Senate passed the bill on April 3. Republicans in the state House then passed the bill along a 70-40 supermajority vote. Previously, Florida had a 15-week abortion ban, which DeSantis had signed into law roughly one year ago.

The new law will only take effect if the state’s current 15-week ban, which is being legally challenged in Florida’s conservative state Supreme Court, is upheld.

“Signed the Heartbeat Protection Act, which expands pro-life protections and devotes resources to help young mothers and families,”  said in a tweet posted after 11pm Thursday night.

The 6-week law, called the “Heartbeat Protection Act” imposes restrictions on telehealth abortions and medication abortion. Pregnant people facing life-threatening harm as well as victims of rape, incest and human trafficking, would be exempt from the new ban. Those exemptions will only be allowed, however, if a woman has documentation—such as a police report or a restraining order.

Some seven hours of debate took place on the floor of Florida state House Thursday ahead of the bill’s passage and DeSantis’ signing it.

“Let’s be clear about the silent part: You just don’t want women to have choice,” House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskel (D).

While Rep. Kiyan Michael (R) countered, “A woman’s right to choose…begins before you have sex. It should not be after you have sex.”

Following the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization overturning Roe v Wade and 50 years of the Constitutional right to abortion, roughly half of all U.S. states have banned abortion or are likely to do so, including 12 which are imposing a near-total ban, according to the Guttmacher Institute, which advocates reproductive health.

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