Florida’s House of Representatives successfully passed a bill banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
After roughly five hours of debate and delay by protesters, the abortion ban passed through the Republican-led House by a 78-39 vote Thursday. The bill now advances to the state Senate and is expected to land on Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk for signing, according to The Hill.
“This is not about religion. This is about advances in genetics and related fields that make clear that a new and unique human being is formed at the moment of conception,” Chair Erin Grall, R-Fla., said on the House floor. “That is why we seek to protect the children that are over the age of 15 weeks old.”
The ban allows exceptions only for cases where the mother’s life is either at risk or faces “irreversible physical impairment,” and if the baby has a fatal abnormality. However, no exceptions exist in cases of rape or incest, as reported by Reuters.
DeSantis is expected to approve the legislation after he signaled support for an abortion ban in January.
“There’s a lot of pro-life legislation,” DeSantis said. “We’re going to be welcoming it. I haven’t looked at every single bill. I think if you look at what’s been done in some of these other states – I mean when you start talking about 15 weeks, where you have really serious pain and heartbeats and all this stuff – having protections, I think, is something that makes a lot of sense.”
The legislation mirrors similar efforts recently passed in Mississippi and Texas. Arizona and West Virginia also passed 15-weeks abortion bans this week.