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 April 4, 2023

Florida bans abortions after six weeks of gestation, bill heading to Ron DeSantis's desk

The Florida state Senate passed a bill Monday that prohibits abortions after six weeks gestation, the Washington Examiner reported. The measure received a 26-13 vote and will go to Gov. Ron DeSantis who is expected to sign it.

"We’re for pro-life," the Florida Republican said of the restrictive legislation in February. "I urge the legislature to work, produce good stuff, and we will sign."

So far, at least 13 states have banned abortion outright following the overturning of Roe v. Wade, and mostly in the South. Other states have implemented restrictions anywhere from 15 to 22 weeks.

The Sunshine State will become the second state after Georgia to ban abortion past six weeks. Additional measures seeking to limit abortion in other states are making their way through the courts as well.

Florida's latest effort was an amendment to the Heartbeat Protection Act. The bill's sponsor, GOP state Sen. Erin Grall, said it restricted the timing while permitting rape and incest exceptions.

"The termination of life, period, meets the definition of murder," Grall admitted, according to Fox News.  "We live in a time where the consequences of our actions are an afterthought and convenience has been substitution for responsibility, and this is unacceptable when it comes to the protection of the most vulnerable."

The measure likely will pass, as both chambers in Florida are GOP-controlled. DeSantis has said the exceptions were a reasonable accommodation.

In order to qualify for the exceptions, the mother would need documentation, including a police report, restraining order, or medical records. Drug-induced abortions would also be available only through a physical after an in-person consultation.

Following Monday's vote, abortion-loving Democrats staged a protest. Florida Democratic Party chair Nikki Fried and Florida's Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book were arrested outside of the state capitol along with other protestors.

They had been warned that Tallahassee Police were unable to deal with overnight protests, which is likely what Fried and Book were counting on for a photo op. The TPD said they could only allow them during "normal operating hours," but arrest photos make for a great fundraising opportunity.

"After multiple warnings throughout the day, protesters acknowledged they understood that anyone refusing to leave the premises at sundown would be subject to arrest," TPD said in a statement. "This evening, after sunset, the majority of the crowd left the property, while 11 people refused to leave despite numerous requests."

"They were subsequently arrested for trespass after warning," the police department added. As with other measures, Democrats claimed that these laws unfairly target poor and minority women even as it would save their babies from death.

"No woman should be ashamed to have an abortion," state Sen. Tracie Davis claimed. However, this law is not about shame but rather the protection of the most vulnerable among us.

Unborn babies are humans and therefore deserve protection from harm, including death inflicted at the behest of their mothers. At least Florida is the latest to come very close to doing just that.

Written By:
Christine Favocci

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