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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Strictly Signs Bill for Abortion Law Banning After 6 Weeks

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Strictly Signs Bill for Abortion Law Banning After 6 Weeks
The proposed law would make most abortions in Florida illegal after the sixth week. (Photo: AP Photo/John Raoux)

Late Thursday night, the governor’s office announced that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill for abortion law that would prohibit most abortions in the state after six weeks.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis Strictly Signs Bill for Abortion Law Banning After 6 Weeks

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill late Thursday night that would ban most abortions in the state after six weeks. (Photo: Justin Ide/Reuters)

6-week Abortion Law to Take Effect

The state Supreme Court’s prior precedent on abortion must be reversed before the six-week ban on abortion law may take effect. The measure follows actions by other Republican-led states to swiftly restrict the process of abortion law since the US Supreme Court overruled Roe v. Wade last summer, and make Florida as one of the most restrictive state in the country to obtain an abortion. Most abortions in Florida would be illegal after the sixth week under the proposed legislation of abortion law. Many women don’t even realize they’re pregnant until much later, according to those who oppose the abortion law bill.

Up to 15 weeks of pregnancy, the abortion law allows for abortions for victims of rape, incest, and human trafficking who provide a restraining order, police report, medical record, or other documentation of their victimization. In addition, the law would make it so that abortion drugs could only be sent by a doctor and not through the mail, and would prohibit doctors from prescribing abortions through telemedicine. The bill’s backers claimed they were acting to prevent needless deaths. Republican state representative Kiyan Michael of Jacksonville suggested as much on Thursday. It shouldn’t happen right after you get sexual.

In the minority in the Florida legislature, Democrats, began filing amendments to water down the bill shortly after 9 a.m. on Thursday in an effort to lessen its impact and protest the likely end of thousands of legal abortions in the state annually. Every amendment was shot down, and the Republicans used their overwhelming majority to push the law through with only a 70-40 vote. Protests erupted at the state Capitol in Tallahassee after the state Senate voted to approve the law last week, leading to the arrests of Nikki Fried, chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, and Lauren Book, leader of the state Senate’s minority party.

READ ALSO: Justice Department and Manufacturer Fight to Keep Medication Abortion Drug Available Despite Judge’s Order

Suspension of FDA’s Approval of a Medication Abortion Drug

After a court in Texas temporarily halted the FDA’s approval of an abortion medicine, the national debate on abortion law has heated up anew, setting the stage for Thursday’s vote. Parts of the order have been placed on hold by a federal appeals court, and the Department of Justice has asked the Supreme Court to weigh in. The Wisconsin Supreme Court contest earlier this month, where the future of abortion access took center stage and spurred Democratic turnout, was followed by the Florida vote. While DeSantis has made it clear that he is in favor of tightening Florida’s already restrictive abortion laws, the normally vocal governor has been unusually circumspect on where exactly he believes lawmakers should draw the line.

In March, DeSantis was asked if he favored protecting unborn children from rape and incest up to 15 weeks of pregnancy. He termed this a “sensible” position and said he would “welcome pro-life legislation,” but then immediately changed the subject. In his 2018 campaign for governor, DeSantis said he would back a ban on abortions if a heartbeat is found.

A prohibition on abortions after 15 weeks was signed into law by DeSantis last year; it made no exceptions for cases of rape, incest, or human trafficking. After the first 15 weeks of pregnancy, termination is illegal unless the mother’s life is in danger or a fatal defect is found in the fetus. The diagnosis must have written confirmation from two doctors. To overturn the law, abortion rights organizations like Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit. The Florida Supreme Court is now considering the issue but has chosen not to temporarily halt the abortion law until the outcome.

READ ALSO: Biden Administration Seeks To Halt Ruling Suspending Sale Of Abortion Pill

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