Florida GOP passes 6-week abortion ban; DeSantis helps it
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Republican-dominated Florida Legislature on Thursday authorised a ban on abortions after six weeks of being pregnant, a proposal supported by GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis as he prepares for an anticipated presidential run.
DeSantis is anticipated to signal the invoice into legislation. Florida presently prohibits abortions after 15 weeks.
A six-week ban would give 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 commonplace bearer.
The coverage would even have wider implications for abortion entry all through the South within the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court docket’s determination final yr overturning Roe v. Wade and leaving choices about abortion entry to states. Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi have banned abortion in any respect levels of being pregnant, whereas Georgia forbids the process after cardiac exercise will be detected, which is round six weeks.
“We’ve got the chance to steer the nationwide debate concerning the significance of defending life and giving each youngster 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 an announcement issued after Thursday’s vote. “This ban would additionally affect the practically 15 million ladies of reproductive age who stay in abortion-banning states all through the South, a lot of whom have beforehand relied on journey to Florida as an choice to entry care.”
The invoice comprises some exceptions, together with to avoid wasting the girl’s life. Abortions for pregnancies involving rape or incest can be allowed till 15 weeks of being pregnant, supplied a girl has documentation reminiscent of a restraining order or police report. DeSantis has known as the rape and incest provisions smart.
Medicine utilized in medication-induced abortions — which make up the vast majority of these supplied nationally — might be disbursed solely in individual or by a doctor beneath the Florida invoice. Individually, nationwide entry to the abortion capsule mifepristone is being challenged in court docket.
Florida’s six-week ban would 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.
“I can’t consider any invoice that’s going to supply extra protections to extra people who find themselves extra susceptible 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 common amongst some religious conservatives who’re a part of the GOP voting base, however the challenge 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 reminiscent of 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 individuals of Florida and what they’re asking for?”
DeSantis, who typically locations himself on the entrance strains of tradition battle points, has stated he backs the six-week ban however has appeared uncharacteristically tepid on the invoice. He has typically stated, “We welcome pro-life laws,” when requested concerning the coverage.
DeSantis is anticipated to announce his presidential candidacy after the session ends in Might, along with his potential White Home run partly buoyed by the conservative insurance policies authorised by the Republican supermajority within the Statehouse this yr.
Democrats, with out energy at any degree of state authorities, have principally turned to stall ways and protests to oppose the invoice, which simply handed each chambers on largely party-line votes. The Senate authorised it final week, and the Home did so Thursday.
A Democratic senator and chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Social gathering had been arrested and charged with trespassing throughout a protest in Tallahassee towards 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 had been rejected by Republicans.
“Girls’s well being and their private proper to decide on is being stolen,” stated Democratic Rep. Felicia Simone Robinson. “So I ask: Is Florida actually a free state?”
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