DeSantis Dramatically Restricts Abortion

( – Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has signed a bill banning most abortions in the state after six weeks. This legislation will only come into effect once the state Supreme Court overturns its previous stance on abortion. If enacted, Florida will become one of the most restrictive states in the US for obtaining an abortion.

Opponents of the bill argue that six weeks is too early, as many women are unaware they’re pregnant at that stage. House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell said, “You just don’t want women to have choice.” The bill provides exceptions for rape, incest, and human trafficking victims, allowing them to get an abortion up to 15 weeks into the pregnancy if they can provide evidence.

The legislation also prevents doctors from prescribing abortion via telehealth and requires that medication for abortion be dispensed by a physician rather than by mail. Supporters of the bill believe they are protecting life. State Rep. Kiyan Michael said, “A woman’s right to choose begins before you have sex.”

Debate on the bill in Florida’s legislature lasted over seven hours, with Democrats filing multiple amendments to lessen its impact. All the amendments failed, and the bill passed with a 70-40 vote. Protests and arrests followed the bill’s passage in the state Senate.

The national debate on abortion has intensified recently, with a Texas judge suspending the FDA’s approval of a medication abortion drug. The US Supreme Court may intervene in this dispute. Florida’s vote on the bill comes after a liberal candidate’s victory in a Wisconsin Supreme Court race where abortion access was a key issue.

Governor DeSantis has supported further abortion restrictions in Florida but has not been clear about specific limits. In 2018, DeSantis supported legislation prohibiting abortion after a heartbeat is detected. Last year, he signed a 15-week abortion ban without exceptions for rape, incest, or human trafficking.

Planned Parenthood and other abortion rights groups have sued to overturn the 15-week ban. The case is before the Florida Supreme Court, which has not blocked the law. Florida has historically had strong protections for abortion rights, but the state Supreme Court now leans more conservative due to DeSantis’ appointments. Florida had the highest rate of legal abortions in the US in 2020, with 19.1 per 1,000 women.

What is your opinion about the new abortion law that DeSantis and Florida have enacted? Please share your reaction by emailing [email protected]. Thank you.