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Florida legislators pass 15-week abortion ban


Shutterstock | Steve Allen

John Burger - published on 02/17/22

Governor Ron DeSantis has signaled his support for the bill, which would take effect just after the expected Supreme Court ruling on Roe v. Wade.

Some women seeking abortions in the American Southeast have found themselves traveling to Florida because their own states have very restrictive laws regulating abortion.

Now, for many of them, even Florida might be off the table. Late Wednesday, members of the Republican-majority House of Representatives in Tallahassee passed a bill banning most abortions after 15 weeks gestation. The vote was 78-39. The bill now goes to the State Senate, which is expected to pass it, Reuters reported. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has signaled his support of the bill. 

The legislation allows exceptions in cases when the mother’s life is in serious danger or in cases where the unborn child has a “fatal abnormality,” but not for rape or incest. 

Florida’s bill would take effect July 1, soon after an expected decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which asks whether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional. That case is being seen as a serious challenge to Roe v. Wade, which allows abortions up until the point when an unborn baby is “viable,” which is usually around 24 weeks. 

Arizona’s Senate and West Virginia’s House passed similar 15-week abortion bans on Tuesday, Reuters said. 

The Sunshine State currently permits abortions up to 24 weeks without a mandatory waiting period.

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