Florida Legislature Passes Law Making Abortion Illegal After 15 Weeks Of Pregnancy
On Thursday night, the Florida Senate passed a bill that will make it illegal to have an abortion after 15 weeks, if Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signs it into law. The governor has previously voiced his support for the bill and it is expected to go into effect on July 1.
The bill does not allow victims of incest, rape or human trafficking to have an abortion, but does include exceptions to save a mother’s life, prevent serious “irreversible” injury to the mother and in the case that the fetus has fatal abnormalities.
The decision comes as the Supreme Court indicated they would uphold a similar Mississippi abortion ban is holding discussions for a potential overturn of Roe v. Wade.
In debates, Florida state Sen. Lauren Book (D) urged her colleagues to allow for exceptions for rape, incest and human trafficking, referring to her own personal experience being sexually abused as a teenager.
“It’s not ok to force someone who’s been sexually assaulted and impregnated to carry that pregnancy to term if they don’t want to, it’s just not,” Book said. “And if a woman or a girl needs more than 15 weeks to decide, we should be able to give that to her.”
Republicans argued the bill was reasonable, because even in cases of rape, incest and human trafficking, it still allows 15 weeks to get an abortion.
Republican lawmakers in other states like West Virginia and Arizona recently introduced similar bills, but others have moved in the direction of more restrictive abortion bans, like the one in Texas. The Texas bill bans abortions after six weeks.