DORAL, FL – Abortion in Florida is now allowed only during the first six weeks of pregnancy after bill was signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis late Thursday.
The new law will be effective when the state’s current 15-week ban is upheld in an ongoing legal challenge that is before the state Supreme Court, according to the Associated Press.
But there are some exceptions to the six-week ban. The procedure would be permitted after the period in question if it’s intended to save a woman’s life or if the pregnancy involves rape or incest. In such cases, abortion in Florida would be allowed until 15 weeks of pregnancy, provided a woman has documentation such as a restraining order or police report.
Also, there is a restriction within the law. This has to do with drugs used in medication-induced abortions that could be dispensed only in person or by a physician under the Florida law.
“I can’t think of any bill that’s going to provide more protections to more people who are more vulnerable than this piece of legislation,” said Republican Rep. Mike Beltran, as quoted by the AP. He also added the bill’s exceptions and six-week timeframe represented a compromise.
The bill, which was largely opposed by democrats that used protests and filed dozens of amendments to the proposal (all rejected) in order to prevent the bill from passing, was approved last week by the Senate and yesterday by the House.
“We have the opportunity to lead the national debate about the importance of protecting life and giving every child the opportunity to be born and find his or her purpose,” said Republican Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka, who carried the bill in the House.
Those who are against how abortion in Florida is being determined think the proposal is extreme. “This ban would prevent four million Florida women of reproductive age from accessing abortion care after six weeks — before many women even know they’re pregnant,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement issued after Thursday’s vote.
“This ban would also impact the nearly 15 million women of reproductive age who live in abortion-banning states throughout the South, many of whom have previously relied on travel to Florida as an option to access care.”
Florida joins other states that have banned abortion under different terms. Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi bans it at all stages of pregnancy, while Georgia forbids the procedure after cardiac activity can be detected, which is around six weeks.
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