Time Plus News

Breaking News, Latest News, World News, Headlines and Videos

Florida’s legislature has banned six-week abortions

A six-week ban Abortion Heading to Florida Govt. Ron DeSantisAfter desking, the state House, which has a Republican supermajority, passed the bill 70 to 40 on Thursday.

Senate Bill 300, titled the “Heartbeat Protection Act”, prohibits abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for abortions at risk to a mother’s life and abortions up to fifteen weeks for pregnancies due to incidents of rape, molestation, or human trafficking.

The bill makes it a third-degree felony for a physician to “actively participate(s)” in an abortion in violation of the prohibition. It prohibits using state funds in any way to help a woman obtain an abortion from another state and using “telehealth” or the mail to obtain abortion drugs.

It includes $25 million in funding for clinics and organizations that provide counseling and education for pregnant women and families.

“We have an opportunity to lead the national debate about the importance of protecting life and giving every child a chance to be born,” said Republican state Rep. Jenna Parsons-Mulica. He said the past 50 years have seen a “culture” of abortion “that was created in Roe v. Wade by the seven men who got it wrong.”

A general view of the Old Capitol and the current Florida Capitol buildings Wednesday, Feb. 8, 2023, in Tallahassee, Fla.

Phil Sears/AP

Florida’s Senate already passed the ban by a vote of 26 to 13, with two Republican state senators from Miami and Tallahassee voting against it.

The bill passed out of the legislature as DeSantis prepares to launch a 2024 presidential run after Florida’s legislative session ends in early May. He said in December 2022 that he was “willing to sign the Great Life Act” and told a press conference in February that he was “calling on the Legislature to act, to make good things, and we will sign.”

If signed by DeSantis, the bill’s enactment hinges on a state Supreme Court case over the state’s 15-week abortion ban that Republicans passed in 2022. The 15-week moratorium is still in effect as the court, where four DeSantis-appointed judges, decide when to hear the case.

Florida’s ban will further reduce abortion access in the Southeast. Mississippi and Alabama have total abortion bans while Georgia has a six-week abortion ban. South Carolina’s six-week abortion ban has been ruled unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court, although efforts are underway to pass a new ban in the state legislature.

According to Florida’s Agency for Health Care Administration, the number of out-of-state abortion patients will increase from 4,873 in 2021 to 6,709 in 2022.

During the nearly seven-hour debate, Republicans advocated for the ban while Democrats shared their personal stories and experiences with abortion and criticized Republicans.

Republican state Rep. Mike Beltran portrayed the six-week ban as a “compromise” between Republicans who support the 6-week limit and those who support a total abortion ban, such as himself.

The House has heard at least 54 amendments filed by Democrats and mostly female lawmakers to delay passage of the bill, reduce the ban or keep the ban for 15 weeks. None passed.

Representative Anna Escamani of Florida, a Democrat, filed an amendment to change the bill’s name to the “Forced Pregnancy Act.”

“Not only will it ban abortions where people don’t know they’re pregnant at six weeks, but it forces you into pregnancy,” she said. “That decision should be up to you, your family, your doctor and your faith, not politicians.”

“‘This is a devastating vote. We may be the minority in this chamber, but we are not the minority outside,'” he added later on the House floor.

“We’re building a political agenda behind women and people who give birth,” said Democratic Rep. Michelle Renner-Goolsby.

Opponents of the abortion ban protested inside Florida’s Capitol on Thursday and were escorted out of the House chamber at one point as amendments to the bill were being heard. Earlier this month, pro-abortion rights protesters, including Florida Democratic Party Chair Nikki Fried, were arrested outside the Capitol building in Tallahassee. South Carolina state Sen. Josh Kimbrel, who is hosting DeSantis for an early presidential primary state event at his church next week, said he thinks the ban would be “great” for DeSantis to talk about a possible 2024 run, and ” Most Republican primary voters in Florida would resonate with signing that bill.”

“If we’re going to boil it down to politics, that’s important, because people will look at (the abortion issue), especially in the post-Roe era, and say, ‘Where are you on the issue of human life?'” Kimbrel told CBS News in a phone call Thursday.

Whether the 2024 Republican primary candidates support a national ban on abortion There is a litmus test For anti-abortion rights A March Reuters/Ipsos poll by the group found that 54% of Republicans said they were more likely to vote for a presidential candidate who banned or supported abortion.

Declared and potential candidates differ on whether they support national restrictions on abortion.

Former President Donald Trump, who appointed enough Supreme Court justices to establish a 6-to-3 conservative majority, suggested Republicans “mishandled” the issue of abortion access, leading to losses in the 2022 midterms. “We’re looking at a lot of different things,” Trump said when asked in March if he would support a national abortion ban, according to the Associated Press.

Former South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said in February that she would not support a “total federal ban” on abortion, and said in Iowa on Wednesday that she “doesn’t want unelected judges to make personal decisions.”

South Carolina Senator Tim Scott said Thursday during a visit to New Hampshire that he would sign a 20-week national abortion ban as president, according to local station WMUR-TV. During a Wednesday interview with CBS News, Scott said he is “100% pro-life” but did not answer whether he would support a 15-week abortion ban proposed by fellow South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham.

After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, former Vice President Mike Pence called for a national abortion ban. In a January interview with CBS News, he said he would “certainly support any pro-life legislation that Congress passes” but added he believed the issue “has the potential to be solved one state at a time.”

As a congressman in 2013 and 2015, DeSantis voted in favor of bills to ban 20-week federal abortions, with exceptions for pregnancies caused by molestation or rape. Since becoming governor, he has not made clear whether he would support a federal national ban.

The fight over abortion

More Aaron Navarro

Source link