By Jim Saunders, The News Service of Florida
TALLAHASSEE — Moving quickly on what supporters call the “Heartbeat Protection Act,” Gov. Ron DeSantis late Thursday signed a bill that would prevent abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
DeSantis’ office announced the signing about 11 p.m., several hours after the House gave final approval to the bill (SB 300), one of the most-controversial issues of this year’s legislative session.
“We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said in a prepared statement. “I applaud the Legislature for passing the Heartbeat Protection Act that expands pro-life protections and provides additional resources for young mothers and families.”
But Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, called it a “devastating day for Floridians and especially for Florida’s women.”
“We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: Floridians and Americans overwhelmingly oppose abortion bans, and tonight Gov. DeSantis further proved that point by signing Florida’s most extreme abortion ban into law near midnight and behind closed doors,” Eskamani said in a prepared statement. “His sick and sad attempt to avoid public backlash will not work. We will organize, mobilize and continue to build a coalition of Floridians and Americans who oppose abortion bans and respect bodily autonomy.”
DeSantis, who is widely expected to run for president in 2024, and the Republican-controlled Legislature last year approved a 15-week abortion limit. But that came before a June ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court that overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, refueling debates in Florida and across the country about abortion rights.
Whether the six-week limit takes effect will be determined by how the Florida Supreme Court decides a challenge to last year’s 15-week law.
Seven abortion clinics and a physician filed a lawsuit arguing the 15-week limit violates a privacy clause in the Florida Constitution that has protected abortion rights since a 1989 Supreme Court decision. Under this year’s bill, moving to a six-week limit would be contingent on the Supreme Court effectively upholding the 15-week law.
It is unclear when the court will rule on the challenge, though it probably will be after the legislative session.
Republicans have long argued that the privacy clause was never intended to protect abortion rights and that the Supreme Court should back away from legal precedents on the issue. If that happens, the six-week limit would be able to move forward.
The House voted 70-40 on Thursday to pass the bill, which was approved April 3 by the Senate. Supporters have said the bill reflects fetal heartbeats being detected at six weeks of pregnancy, but opponents have contended it would lead to a virtual ban on abortion, in part because many women don’t know they are pregnant at six weeks.
In addition to the six-week limit, the bill includes other proposed changes, such as requiring that abortion-inducing medication be provided in person by physicians and not through the mail. Also, the bill would prevent abortions from being provided through telehealth and would expand services provided through organizations that counsel women against abortions.
Last year’s 15-week law has drawn criticism because it did not include exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape or incest.
This year’s bill would allow abortions up to 15 weeks of pregnancy in cases of rape, incest or human trafficking, but it would require women to present documentation to prove they were victims. Such documentation could include restraining orders, police reports or medical records.
Hi Pat A –
“What did you pay in Federal Income Tax last year DSP?”
“Maybe, not everyone knows this and it would be helpful information to hear it and they decide to do some research on their own.”
But wouldn’t you need to take a test every ten days after you had sex for this to be a viable strategy?
@DeepState, I am addressing the argument in the article – ” but opponents have contended it would lead to a virtual ban on abortion, in part because many women don’t know they are pregnant at six weeks.”
Apparently, a woman can take an at-home pregnancy test that detects pregnancy at approximately 2 weeks. Maybe, not everyone knows this and it would be helpful information to hear it and they decide to do some research on their own.
What did you pay in Federal Income Tax last year DSP?
@Nicholas Weed –
“Get a job with benefits, practice abstinence, go to church, get off of welfare, pay your taxes, start a 401k, buy your own car instead of public transportation so you will have a reality check on the price of gas, and speaking of politicians staying in their lane”
I am unclear on what his has to do with the abortion bill, or how you have determined I don’t already have those things. I am a high councilor in the church of QAnon, and as a Proud Boy member, I’m *already* abstinent!
“. . . perhaps Biden should have his son arrested for treason for starting the Ukrainian War and jeopardizing our National Security.”
Wow this is some next level delusion. Make America Conspiracy Theory Insane Again 2024. Good luck.
“No, it means in some cases it will take a few days more than 10 to get a positive test result. ”
Exquisite empirical analysis, Dr. Barb. But what if you have abnormal period frequency? A friend of mine used to regularly go three months between periods, despite being a healthy woman in her mid thirties. Do you think she should take a pregnancy test every 10 to 20 days after she has sex, every time?
Hey Barb, I dare you to google “Anya Cook” and see what you are throwing your conscious behind. Her water broke when she was 16 weeks pregnant due to premature rupture of the membranes, which is a relatively frequent cause of preterm birth and/or miscarriage depending on the time the rupture occurs gestationally. ER doctors could not induce an abortion, so they just sent her home. She wound up ‘delivering’ her non viable fetus in a hair salon and lost half her blood. She was hospitalized for six days and could have lost her life.
Get a job with benefits, practice abstinence, go to church, get off of welfare, pay your taxes, start a 401k, buy your own car instead of public transportation so you will have a reality check on the price of gas, and speaking of politicians staying in their lane… perhaps Biden should have his son arrested for treason for starting the Ukrainian War and jeopardizing our National Security.
@DeepState – “It also means it many cases, you cannot get a positive test result.”
No, it means in some cases it will take a few days more than 10 to get a positive test result. But, in many cases, it will take only 10 days. So, it sounds like women could know if they were pregnant a little after 2 weeks.
I’m all for cutting welfare, food stamps, and all the other “free stuff” the government makes me pay for. You see, the free stuff really ain’t free. A reasonable solution to abortion could have been had if the wacko leftest had not insisted on abortion up to and slightly after the moment of birth. There was no room for compromise. I doubt Desantis wins the primary.
@Pat A –
“It is obvious who drinks too much Bud Lite and is a member of the 47% that pays no Federal income tax?”
The fact that the conservative movement is so wildly triggered over a media campaign just goes to show what complete hypocritical snowflakes they have always been. Not only do they need a safe space because the weird beer person hurt their oh so fragile sensitives, suddenly they’re all in on cancel culture when it comes to Bud Light. Go figure. I stopped drinking Bud Light when I was 19 cause it sucked, the only funnier thing than the snowflake complex of a bunch of rednecks smashing up their bud light supplies because of their mixed up feelings is that up until now, they’ve been drinking awful beer and proud of it. LOL.
Regarding the 47%, if Meatball Ron keeps on getting jiggy with limiting abortion rights and spending his time policing drag shows when Ft Lauderdale is flooding, 47% is going to be the absolute top of the mountain for the percentage of people who will vote for him.
@Nicholas Weed –
“The GOP has a generational problem”
You (and the GOP) have a recognition of reality problem. Exit polls show under thirty breaking 60% to Biden and 54% for those under 44-30. This is simple observable reality.
“No, you have a lack of humanity problem and putting your own self-interests ahead of those who need help the most.”
Ah yes, conservatives are all about ‘helping those who need it most’. What in the world have you been smoking? The Republican party is *consistently* talking about cutting food stamps, or welfare, unemployment benefits, or any other social safety net. The Republican party is *consistently* looking for ways to reduce early voting.
All this concern about grooming…such outward projection. When every time we turn around its a republican or a “Christian” getting caught with kiddie porn, having sex with children, heck, even flying them to another state to have sex with other republican friends and politicians.
The fact you equate limiting a woman’s right to control her body, her health, her future with a frivolous recreational lark to snow ski, mountain climb, cave exploring, attend a Broadway show, and go big-game hunting shows a very serious lack of comprehension and compassion. Yep, you tell a 12 yr old incest impregnated girl with no money that it’s just like a ski trip to go travel for an abortion. Unbelievable!
Barb you have it turned around.
Dear Republicans and Governor DeSantis: It’s not courageous to be as easy and comfortable as you all are on the taxpayer dime.
It is obvious who drinks too much Bud Lite and is a member of the 47% that pays no Federal income tax?
“The GOP has a generational problem”
No, you have a lack of humanity problem and putting your own self-interests ahead of those who need help the most.
@Nicholas Weed –
Perform any search you’d like and you will find that restricting abortion access polls extremely poorly within the younger demographic. This is simple observable reality. The GOP has a generational problem and instead of looking for ways to craft policies that might make more sense to a younger set of voters, they’re doubling down.
@Pat A –
The best thing about your list is how it makes it clear your news comes from an echo chamber of boomeresque stupidity.
“Alienates him and the Republican party from voting population under forty at large”
Look what Biden’s term has done to all of us:
When Trump was President, my 401(k) raked in the cash every month. Under Biden, my balance has increased $220.00 in 18 months and I’m one of the lucky ones.
Fuel prices are up and will be climbing higher.
Food prices are up, and availability is limited.
Interest rates are up from less than 4% to over 6.9%.
The U.S. is being flooded with illegal immigrants that are dependent on the taxpayer.
Fentanyl is flowing into the county.
Our Air Traffic System is understaffed and failing.
Identity Politics has ruled Biden’s political appointees.
Law Enforcement has been politicized to attack political opponents.
Inflation is increasing and we will have a recession in the fall or early 2024.
Christians are under attack and Biden could care less.
And the idiotic push for electric cars is beyond reason. The basic cost of owning an electric car will result in you needing to buy a new vehicle every 4 to 6 years with the batteries fail.
And crime is on the increase.
But all liberals are concerned about is Abortion. Really, an unwanted pregnancy is easily avoided. The easiest choice is to have sex with a tranny because guys that think they are girls cannot get pregnant. And woman who think they are guys cannot father any children.
Or just wear Crocs all the time.
Biden is a disaster for the County. We are headed toward WWIII and a financial collapse if the World changes from the U.S. Dollar to China’s Yen.
But all a Liberals wants is an abortion.
“If it’s wrong to hurt people because of skin color or gender, why is it okay to hurt them because they are smaller, less developed, or in a different location?”
@Edward Lyle –
“save the spin and Alinsky diatribes for your coffee klatch of commies, Saul”
I had no idea what you were talking about, so I looked it up. Turns out, Saul Alinski died *over fifty years ago*. (!)
Meanwhile, Conservatives wonder to themselves, “why are we polling worse than insane clown based bands with young people?” Truly a mystery.
And for what it is worth, the statements that birth control fails and women are raped are not ‘spin’, but rather observable reality.
@ Deepstatepropagandist… save the spin and Alinsky diatribes for your coffee klatch of commies, Saul… Start dealing with reality and keep your hands off children… you’ll feel better about yourself; I promise.
@Barb – ““In many cases, you might get a positive result from an at-home test as early as 10 days after conception.””
It also means it many cases, you cannot get a positive test result. Imagine a non-prude woman who has sex with her husband three times a week. “Well, I had sex 11 days ago, so I probably better check!” Three days pass. “Well, I had sex 11 days ago, so I better check!”
I will admit that by performing a google search and coming up with an idiotic suggestion, you are likely qualified to be the health advisors for candidate DeSantis. Good luck!
“Yes, it’s unfortunate if you have to leave the state to get an abortion. That’s what’s called an inconvenience. The new Florida abortion law will cause some residents, not all, an inconvenience.”
This is stunning example of why the GOP polls underwater with people under 30. Keep it up though, you can still dig a deeper generational hole for Republicans!
@Edward Lyle –
“There are countless (even free) methods of birth control”
Birth control fails all the time. Women get raped every day in Florida.
“groom them as children for their perverted desire”
The rights obsession with this kind of this is so completely weird and so much projection. What are you, a Catholic priest or something?
And in Heaven, 63,459,781 little pairs of hands, belonging to all the American babies murdered since the 1973 Roe decision, are clapping.
Deepstatepropagandist and his/her/its Marxicrat ilk sure do love kill’n them some innocent babies. An evil and depraved lot to be sure. If they can’t kill them as babies, groom them as children for their perverted desires, tax the life out of them as adult… they’ll kill them in ALFs like their buddy Andy Cuomo did.
There are countless (even free) methods of birth control… killing an innocent baby is not on of them… wrap your mush-melon around that reality and lay off the video games, snapperhead.
Any person living in Florida who wants an abortion can get help as long as their pregnancy is not beyond 6 weeks. For those past that time limit, they too can get an abortion as long as it’s not performed in the state of Florida. Nobody is loosing their right to choose an abortion because of the change in this abortion law.
Yes, it’s unfortunate if you have to leave the state to get an abortion. That’s what’s called an inconvenience. The new Florida abortion law will cause some residents, not all, an inconvenience.
I also find it quite inconvenient to have to leave Florida if I want to go snow skiing, mountain climbing, cave exploring, see a Broadway show or go big-game hunting.
It’s unfortunate, but life is full of inconveniences. Most people just learn to deal with them quite successfully.
According to a google search, “In many cases, you might get a positive result from an at-home test as early as 10 days after conception.”
Up to 25% of women have irregular periods and going six weeks without a period is not necessarily unusual. Maybe they should just bulk purchase pregnancy tests and take one every few days if they happen to to be ‘late’. I’m sure that Florida’s bad joke of a ‘surgeon general’ knows this though, he just doesn’t care.
The only good thing to come from this bill is that it will insure that DeSantis will never become President and further alienates him and the Republican party from voting population under forty at large. The attack ads literally write themselves, and if anyone here is interested in reflection on this point (which I doubt), take a look at what happened in the Wisconsin Supreme Court vote earlier this month, run largely on abortion rights, where Democrats outperformed Republicans by 11 points in a battleground state.
In ten years, when Republican’s have yet another postmortem about why they underperformed in anything except highly gerrymandered districts catered to the looniest of Republican whack jobs, no doubt they will be unable to see they have successfully convinced an entire generation of voters that their political party of ‘small government’ is anything but when it comes to controlling certain populations. Young people don’t like that.
The SCOTUS judges who lied their behinds off about stare decisis would qualify as galactic sized hypocrites and flat out liars if the big tent of the GOP wasn’t so full of them already.
I am Pro Life and I believe in the Science and in Biology. Life begins when the Sperm enters the Egg and THAT is the beginning of a Human.
Thank you, to the 70 brave Republicans and Governor DeSantis. It’s not easy or comfortable to be courageous.