Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., expressed support for a bill prohibiting abortions past 15 weeks as state lawmakers gear up for a new legislative session.
“I have not seen that particular one, but obviously I’m supportive of 15 weeks,” the governor said last week during a press conference when prompted about SB 146, Fetal and Infant Mortality Reduction. “I mean, I think that’s very reasonable, and I think that’s very consistent with, you know, being supportive of protecting life.”
“We’ll work with them as they kind of get through that process, but I think that will be something that we’ll be able to sign, and I think a lot of people would be happy with that,” he continued.
SB 146, introduced by Republican state Sen. Kelli Stargel and Rep. Erin Grall, mirrors Mississippi’s abortion law, seeking to prohibit abortions past the 15-week threshold. The law would not include exceptions for rape and incest but would allow it for a “fatal fetal abnormality” or in cases where the woman’s life would be in danger.
Moreover, the legislation would significantly impact Florida’s current abortion law allowing abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.
This move by Florida Republicans follows Texas’ major success with its “heartbeat bill,” which prohibits medical personnel from performing abortions in the state after the fetal heartbeat has been detected. Despite significant pressure from pro-abortion groups to slash the abortion ban, the United States Supreme Court allowed the law to stand.
Since the implementation of Texas’ pro-life bill, abortion has declined by 50 percent in the state.
Republican lawmakers hope to have the same success in the Sunshine State.
“Abortion takes of the life of an innocent, unborn child. Throughout my time in the Legislature, I have prioritized pro-life legislation that ensures our state government does all we can to protect the lives of innocent children and support parents who choose life,” state Sen. Stargel said.
DeSantis hinted at exploring more pro-life legislation in the future.
“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.”