Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a 15-week abortion ban into law on Thursday as the state joins a growing conservative push to restrict access ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that limited the procedure nationwide. could do
The new law is a significant blow to abortion access in the South, where Florida offers wider access to the procedure than its regional neighbors.
The new law, which takes effect July 1, includes exceptions if the abortion is necessary to save a mother’s life, prevent serious injury or cause a fatal fetal abnormality. It does not allow exemption in cases where the pregnancy was caused by rape, incest or human trafficking. Under current law, Florida allows abortions up to 24 weeks old.
“It will represent the most important protection for life that has been enacted in this state in a generation,” DeSantis said as he signed the bill at the “Nacion de Fe” (“Nation of Faith”), an evangelical church. . Kissimi that serves members of the Latino population.
DeSantis, a Republican rising star and potential 2024 presidential candidate, signed off on the measure after speeches by several women about how they chose not to have abortions or, in the case of one, regretted doing so.
Some in attendance, including young children, stood behind speakers with signs saying “Choose Life”, while speakers stood on a podium with a sign depicting an infant’s feet and A heartbeat read read, “Protect life.”
Debate on the motion became deeply personal and revealing inside the Florida legislature, with lawmakers recounting their own abortion and sexual assault experiences in often tearful speeches on the House and Senate floors.
Elsewhere in the United States, Republican lawmakers have introduced new abortion restrictions, some similar to Texas law that bans abortions after about six weeks and applies to private citizens, which the US Supreme Court has decided to leave in place. decided.
Oklahoma Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt recently signed a bill to make it a felony to have an abortion, which can carry up to a decade in prison. In March, Arizona Republican Governor Doug Ducey signed legislation to outlaw abortion after 15 weeks if the US Supreme Court upheld Mississippi’s law.
If the row is reversed, 26 states are certain or likely to immediately ban or severely restrict abortion, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a think tank that supports abortion rights. During the Florida law debate, Republicans have said they want the state to be well placed to limit access to abortion if the US Supreme Court upholds Mississippi’s law.