Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation that bans most abortions in the Sunshine State after six weeks of pregnancy.
The GOP-led state legislature passed the measure Thursday.
BREAKING: Florida Legislature passes a ban on most abortions after six weeks. Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the measure into law. https://t.co/zXR4vzANNC
— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 13, 2023
“We have the opportunity to lead the national debate about the importance of protecting life and giving every child the opportunity to be born and find his or her purpose,” said Florida State Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka (R).
“By your vote today, we change the culture of abortion to a culture of life,” she added.
“By your vote today, we change the culture of abortion to a culture of life.”
— Florida State Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka (R), as the state today passed a 6-week abortion ban that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) is expected to sign into law pic.twitter.com/xCMCOONgXM
— The Recount (@therecount) April 13, 2023
NBC News reported:
Final passage came after a marathon floor hearing in the state House, which passed the proposal largely along party lines in a 70-40 vote after the Senate passed it on April 3.
Democrats in the chamber forcefully opposed the legislation but were vastly outnumbered by Republican supermajorities in both chambers. GOP House Speaker Paul Renner had to close the public viewing galleries after protesters threw what appeared to be paper onto the House floor.
Here’s footage of the protest at the Florida Capitol:
Protests happening now at the Florida State Capitol as the House considers a six-week abortion ban. pic.twitter.com/is1Vlq9oFk
— Rebecca Baer (@BaerRebecca) April 13, 2023
The Florida House just took a 10 min recess during a hearing on the six-week abortion ban due to abortion-rights protests in the gallery. Here are protesters on the 4th floor outside the chamber during the recess pic.twitter.com/SSVolqpZpF
— Alexandra Glorioso (@aglorios) April 13, 2023
The Associated Press noted that the six-week ban only takes effect if the state’s current 15-week ban is upheld in ongoing legal challenges in the state Supreme Court.
The law contains some exceptions, including to save the woman’s life. Abortions for pregnancies involving rape or incest would be allowed until 15 weeks of pregnancy, provided a woman has documentation such as a restraining order or police report. DeSantis has called the rape and incest provisions sensible.
Drugs used in medication-induced abortions — which make up the majority of those provided nationally — could be dispensed only in person or by a physician under the Florida law. Separately, nationwide access to the abortion pill mifepristone is being challenged in court.
“I can’t think of any bill that’s going to provide more protections to more people who are more vulnerable than this piece of legislation,” said Republican Rep. Mike Beltran, who said the bill’s exceptions and six-week timeframe represented a compromise.