Florida Moves Forward With 6-Week Abortion Ban As DeSantis Gears Up for Presidential Bid
The Florida State Senate voted in favor of a six-week abortion ban, reducing the grace period where abortions are legal down from the current limit of 15 weeks. Florida’s House of Representatives is expected to vote on its version of the law next week.
Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who has signaled that he intends to run for president in 2024, has said that he is ready to sign the bill.
A six-week ban is restrictive on its own – and, when paired with Florida’s requirement of two in-person doctor’s appointments before receiving an abortion, is effectively a complete ban. Usually, women don’t know that they are pregnant before the six-week mark.
The ban would not only affect the residents of Florida but also the many people who travel from even stricter states in the South to Florida to receive an abortion. Since June, when the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, Florida Planned Parenthood clinics have received almost four times as much traffic as before.
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Florida’s 15-week ban is already being challenged, and a decision on its legality is expected to come from Florida’s Supreme Court later this summer. A six-week ban, even if signed by DeSantis before then, would not take effect until the decision on the 15-week ban is made.
Florida’s Supreme Court, after being stacked by DeSantis and transformed from a five-two liberal majority to a six-one conservative majority in just a couple of years, is very likely to allow the ban to go through.
The bill also bans abortions by “telemedicine,” which would prevent any abortion medication from being sent by mail. If passed, abortion seekers would be forced to receive their abortion medication in person, after having been handed the medication directly by a healthcare provider.
Florida’s bill does allow exceptions for rape and incest, although allegations of such crimes must be backed by a police report, medical record or court order. Many victims of sexual assault do not report their abuse out of embarrassment, fear of retaliation or other reasons, making the exception “meaningless” for many abortion seekers.
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