Florida’s governor signed into law a bill banning abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy

The Florida Abortion Law – Preventing Abnormality After Six Weeks and Protecting Children from Adoption – Revisited

Most abortions in Florida wouldn’t be allowed after six weeks. Proponents of the legislation argue that many women don’t know they are pregnant until six weeks into the baby’s life.

During the debate on the bill, Fentrice Driskell, a Democrat in the legislature, said that they don’t want women to have choice.

The abortion ban signed last year did not include exceptions for rape, incest or human trafficking. Under the law, a pregnancy cannot be terminated after 15 weeks unless the mother is at serious risk or a fatal fetal abnormality is detected. Doctors must confirm the diagnosis with a letter.

The bill would also ban doctors from prescribing an abortion via telehealth and require medication for abortion be dispensed by a physician, not by mail.

People talk about a woman’s right to choose. Well, that right to choose begins before you have sex,” state Rep. Kiyan Michael, a Jacksonville Republican, said Thursday. You shouldn’t have it after you have sex.

The national debate about abortion has once again intensified due to a Texas judge ordering the Food and Drug Administration to deny approval for a medication abortion drug. A federal appeals court has frozen parts of the order, and the Department of Justice is asking the US Supreme Court to intervene in the dispute. The Florida vote also follows a decisive victory by a liberal candidate in a Wisconsin Supreme Court race earlier this month in which the future of abortion access took center stage and mobilized Democratic turnout.

The arrest of both the Senate Minority Leader and the Florida Democratic Party chairwoman after the bill was passed in the Senate was due to protests at the state Capitol.

A Democratic Six-Week Ban on Abortion in Florida and Implications for a Countrywide Law of the State’s Supreme Court

Those protections for years made Florida a sanctuary for women seeking abortions throughout the South as neighboring states over time moved to restrict the procedure. Florida had the highest rate of legal abortions in the country, at 19.1 per 1,000 women.

However, the makeup of the Florida Supreme Court has shifted considerably in recent years, and it is now heavily shaped by DeSantis’ conservative influence. He appointed four of the six sitting justices and will name a fifth to succeed Justice Ricky Polston, who resigned last month.

There is no data on the number of pregnancies that are terminated in the first six weeks. The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration says that more than 82,000 abortions took place in the state over the course of five years.

In backing a six-week ban, DeSantis fulfilled a campaign pledge to block abortion after the detection of a heartbeat – just before he is expected to launch his 2024 presidential bid. But as he inches toward a national campaign, DeSantis, who rarely sidesteps cultural clashes, has also become oddly muted on abortion since the fall of Roe v. Wade and has avoided laying out a federal platform before jumping into the race.

The six-week ban will take effect only if the state’s current 15-week ban is upheld in an ongoing legal challenge that is before the state Supreme Court, which is controlled by conservatives.

The policy would have wider implications for abortion access throughout the South in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision last year overturning Roe v. Wade and leaving decisions about abortion access to states. Georgia forbids the procedure after six weeks and Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi only allow it if the heartbeat can be detected.

The Future of Abortion Access and the Statehouse ‘Do We Really Need to Shut It Down?’ Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka

“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 Republican Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka, who carried the bill in the House.

The majority of drugs used in abortions that are provided nationally can only be obtained in person 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.

The US Supreme Court decision that ended abortion access in the United States is having an effect on the national political landscape and has left Republicans grasping for a message that can blunt the effect. Last week’s election in which liberals took control of the state Supreme Court in an election over the future of abortion access is the latest sign of trouble for the GOP.

Have we learned anything? House Democratic Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell said of recent elections in other states. “Do we not listen to what our people are asking for, and if not, do we not act?”

In light of the national uproar around the SCOTUS decision, DeSantis has shied away from the topic. Unlike other issues, like eliminating college diversity programs and curbing legal protections for the media, he has elevated with staged news conferences and frequent messaging on conservative media, DeSantis has offered vague commitments to protect life but repeatedly declined to say where Florida should draw the line on abortion access.

DeSantis is expected to announce his presidential candidacy after the session ends in May, with his potential White House run in part buoyed by the conservative policies approved by the Republican supermajority in the Statehouse this year.

The Florida House Appropriations Committee voted against the ‘Delta’ Senator’s Proposal for an Abtresment Ban

Democrats, who did not have control over the levels of state government, used a variety of tactics to oppose the bill, which was easily passed by both chambers. The House approved it Thursday, a week after it was approved by the Senate.

The congresswoman said women’s health and their right to choose was being taken. “So I ask, is Florida truly a free state?”

Speaking Friday morning to an overwhelmingly pro-life audience at Liberty University, a deeply conservative Baptist college in Virginia, DeSantis didn’t mention the bill he had signed the night before.

The late-night private signing also stood in stark contrast to the celebratory event exactly a year prior, when DeSantis, surrounded by women and children and in front of hundreds of onlookers, enacted a 15-week abortion ban at a Orlando-area megachurch as news cameras captured the scene.

The White House decried Florida’s bill as extreme and dangerous, saying it is out of step with the views of all the people of the United.

It’s not clear whether the issue continues to bother general voters, but opinions on the decision do not appear to have changed. A poll done by the Law School last month showed that two-thirds of voters didn’t like the ruling.

One rare late night act by a governor is to sign the bill at 10:45 p.m. on Thursday after he returned from a political event in Ohio.

“I can’t speculate on his mental processes and what he decides to speak on,” said John Stemberger, president of Florida Family Policy Council, a conservative Christian organization that supported the bill. He is a man of action, not with words but with action.

Some Republican operatives believe DeSantis is better positioned than others to stave off primary attacks from the right without alienating swing voters. Jon Schweppe, director of government and policy affairs at the conservative American Principles Project, suggested that by endorsing some exceptions for rape and incest, there would be more civility in the race.

Schweppe had previously raised the alarm that “Republicans need to figure out the abortion issue ASAP” after last week’s defeat of a conservative judge in the Wisconsin Supreme Court race.

“To voters here, the perception of his answer will be that it’s better than the 1849 law,” McCoshen said. The law here will be an improvement if he signs it. It may not be as middle of the road as some states, but it’s better than what we currently have in many people’s minds.”

Still unclear, though, is how DeSantis will navigate new pressures from conservative voters, many of whom will expect their next nominee to use the powers of the presidency to end abortion nationwide. DeSantis, who has not yet declared but is laying the groundwork for a campaign, has so far not faced any questions about what abortion restrictions he would pursue if elected to the White House.

It’s a question that has already tripped up one potential rival for the nomination. A day after skirting a question, Republican Tim Scott said on Thursday that it should be up to states to fix the problem, even though he would also sign a federal 20-week ban.

The Ostrich Strategy of Defending Your Position on Mifepristone: State Policy Director Katie Daniel, Policy Director for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, and Sen. Mehmet Oz

Nor has DeSantis weighed in on the ongoing legal saga surrounding mifepristone, one of the drugs that has been used safely for more than 20 years to provide abortions via medication.

Katie Daniel, the state policy director for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, said Republican candidates risk looking inauthentic if they try to obfuscate their position on abortion. She pointed to Pennsylvania Senate candidate and celebrity doctor Mehmet Oz, who during the GOP primary called abortion “murder” at any stage but in the general election said he supported exceptions for rape, incest or if the mother’s life is at risk. Later, in a debate, Oz said, “I want women, doctors, local political leaders” to decide the issue at the state level.

Daniel told candidates to define themselves and not to like their version of them. “The ostrich strategy of burying your head in the sand is not going to work.”

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