Florida Republicans work to make 15-week abortions illegal

by Meredith Minto

As state legislatures across the country gear up to start a new session for the new year, Florida Republicans introduced a bill that would ban abortions at 15 weeks’ gestation.

This bill comes soon after a similar bill from Mississippi caused nationwide controversy when it was argued before the Supreme Court in December. It has implications that could affect the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.

The House Speaker Chris Sprowls was quick to support the legislation. He wrote in a statement celebrating the move that House Republicans are “steadfast in our commitment to Florida’s children, both born and unborn.”

Gov. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., signaled that he was in favor of the bill that was proposed this week when talking to reporters in Bonita Springs. According to Florida Politics, he said, “I have not seen that particular one, but obviously I’m supportive of 15 weeks. I mean, I think that’s very reasonable, and I think that’s very consistent with, you know, being supportive of protecting life.”

“So, 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.

Before his recent legislative endorsement, the governor told reporters Tuesday that he would be open to it before he had even seen the legislation.

“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,” DeSantis said.

The bill does not include an exception for rape or incest, however there are exceptions for if the mother’s life is in danger, if the fetus has a fatal abnormality, or if the abortion would prevent a serious injury to the mother.

Florida Democrats, who are in the minority in both chambers, indicated they remain committed to fighting the pro-life legislation. Senate Democrat leader Lauren Book said, “We will continue to fight vociferously for a woman’s right to choose and right to health care.”

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