Late Thursday evening, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) signed into law a bill prohibiting abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, which is roughly when a baby's heartbeat can first be detected.
“We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said in a statement according to Breitbart News.
“I applaud the Legislature for passing the Heartbeat Protection Act that expands pro-life protections and provides additional resources for young mothers and families.”
The law, also called Senate Bill 300 (House Bill 7), reduces the state's abortion limit from 15 to six weeks. The bill contains exceptions for rape, incest, human trafficking up to 15 weeks of pregnancy, the preservation of the mother's life, and catastrophic fetal abnormalities in pregnancies that have not entered the third trimester.
The law also stipulates that abortions must be performed in person by a medical practitioner or osteopathic physician, which means that medication abortion must be administered in person and not by mail.
The measure also includes $25 million to expand services offered by crisis pregnancy centers contracted by the state. These services include pregnancy testing and counseling, in addition to material aid such as apparel, car seats, strollers, formula, and diapers.
“In addition to legislating pro-family policies, this year’s Framework for Freedom Budgetincludes permanent sales tax exemptions for baby and toddler necessities, including cribs and strollers, as well as tax holidays on children’s books, toys, athletic equipment, and pet food,” DeSantis’ office said in a press release via email.
“It includes more than $96 million to support foster parents, caregivers, and children. It also includes nearly $143 million to enhance services for pregnant and postpartum women and children, which will improve maternal health outcomes for women at high risk for maternal morbidity.”
“While other states like California and New York have legalized infanticide up until birth, Governor DeSantis has enacted historic measures to defend the dignity of human life and transform Florida into a pro-family state,” his office continued.
The six-week abortion ban is on pause until the Florida Supreme Court rules on the constitutionality of the existing 15-week abortion law.
After the state's legislative session in 2022, DeSantis signed the 15-week ban into law, which was immediately challenged by pro-abortion groups and abortionists.
Nonetheless, portions of SB 300 will take effect immediately, including the funding for pregnancy resource centers, a family planning program, and other services related to parenthood.
The bill was signed by DeSantis on the same day that the Florida House of Representatives passed it 70 to 40 after seven hours of debate.
Florida just one of a number of states who have changed their abortion laws since the withdrawal of federal protections for abortion laws with the overturn of Roe v. Wade in the summer of 2022.