Florida Doubles Down On Abortion Ban

Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash Photo by Gayatri Malhotra on Unsplash

Florida Republicans in both the state House and Senate have introduced new bills that would prohibit abortions after the sixth week of pregnancy. Many people are not yet aware that they are pregnant by the sixth week.

The bill was filed on the first day of the legislative session before Governor Ron DeSantis (R) gave his first State of the State address in his second term as the governor. The bill does allow for limited exceptions including cases of rape and incest. However, even the exceptions would only be allowed until the 15th week of pregnancy. In cases of an exception, the victim would need to provide evidence which could include “a copy of a restraining order, police report, medical record, or other court order or documentation.”

The new bill would also mandate that medical abortion pills will need to be given in person by a physician. Abortion care by telehealth, including abortion medication being mailed, would be prohibited. Those providers who do not abide by the ban could face a third-degree felony, which has a maximum prison sentence of five years.

It is widely suspected that DeSantis is going to be launching a presidential campaign for 2024 during his second term as the Florida governor. The policies that he supports are also widely viewed as an inside into the policies that he is going to be running on. So far, DeSantis has avoided questions about stricter abortion laws, which has led to him being criticized by many anti-abortion groups and other Republicans for not taking the state’s abortion laws further.

Last year, DeSantis signed a law that banned all abortions after the 15th week. This law did not have any exceptions for rape or incest.