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Florida legislature bans most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy


Timof | Shutterstock

Zelda Caldwell - published on 03/04/22

The bill is similar to a Mississippi law that is before the Supreme Court and could end up overturning Roe. v. Wade.

The Florida legislature voted for a bill that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The legislation now goes to the desk of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) who is expected to sign it into law.

In a 23-15 vote on Thursday night, the Florida State Senate passed the bill which would allow an abortion to be performed after 15 weeks only if two doctors certify a “fatal fetal abnormality” which would “result in death upon birth or imminently thereafter.” The bill, which goes into effect on July 1, also includes exceptions for situations involving the life and safety of the mother.

Florida law currently permits abortion up to the 24th week of pregnancy.

Biden “will not stand” for it

President Joe Biden reacted to the bill’s passage  in a tweet Friday: “Last night, the Republican-controlled Florida legislature passed a dangerous bill that will severely restrict women’s access to reproductive health care. My administration will not stand for the continued erosion of women’s constitutional rights.”

The Florida bill is similar to a Mississippi law that is before the Supreme Court and could result in the overturning of Roe v. Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortion nationwide. 

Similar bills banning abortion after 15 weeks have been introduced in West Virginia and Arizona. Other states have proposed legislation modeled after Texas’ law that bans abortion as early as six weeks of pregnancy.

Pro-life movement gains steam across the country

Sue Liebel, state policy director of the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List, an organization that raises money to elect pro-life candidates hailed the legislation as an important victory.

 “At a time when pro-abortion extremists in Washington are pushing a deeply unpopular agenda of abortion on demand until the moment of birth, states like Florida are fighting back to assert the will of the people,” said Liebel.

“This humane legislation would save more than 3,000 lives a year in Florida by limiting abortion at a point when science shows unborn babies can feel pain. Floridians of all stripes agree this would be a significant step forward for the Sunshine State. We appreciate Gov. DeSantis’ strong stand for women and children and greatly look forward to seeing him sign this bill into law,” she said.

The possible demise of Roe v. Wade has spurred on the pro-life movement as the battle over abortion heads to the states. In 2021, 71 pro-life bills passed in 22 states, according to the pro-life advocacy group, Americans United for Life tracks state legislation on their website.

Photo depicts a fetus at three months of gestation.

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