Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has signed a bill into law that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
The bill is similar to the legislation in Mississippi that is about to considered by the Supreme Court and is a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade — which made abortion legal on a federal level.
Like Mississippi, Florida’s law does not provide exemptions for rape, incest or human trafficking, but does allow for later abortions if there is “serious risk” to the mother or if two physicians confirm that there is a fatal fetal abnormality detected.
“We are here today to defend those who can’t defend themselves,” DeSantis said during a press conference on Thursday. “This will represent the most significant protections for life that we have seen in a generation.”
Flanked by small children holding “Choose Life” posters, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) signs into law a near-total ban on abortion after 15 weeks, with no exceptions for rape, incest, or human trafficking. pic.twitter.com/ClV8kcMmCB
— The Recount (@therecount) April 14, 2022
The governor acknowledged that being a parent is a “big responsibility,” but added that it’s something he “wouldn’t trade for the world.”
“To be able to sign the bill here today is really, really meaningful,” DeSantis said. “It’s a statement to our values that every life is important.”
The Florida Senate passed the bill on March 15, by a vote of 23-15, despite severe objections from Democrat lawmakers.
“Being a parent even when you want your child is fundamentally a sacrifice. But it is a privilege. It is a gift that God has given us all. It is the highest gift that he can give us,” Republican Rep. Randy Fine said, according to a report from WESH. “You’ve got two sets of rights that are fundamentally in conflict. You’ve got the right of a woman to do what she wants with her body. And you have the right of a baby to exist. And both of these rights cannot exist at the same time.”
According to a report from CNN, “The signing of the bill comes days after a Tallahassee circuit court judge ruled that Florida can require a 24-hour waiting period to get an abortion, ending a seven-year legal battle over another contentious anti-abortion measure.”
Florida’s new abortion laws will go into effect on July 1.
Alexandra Mandado, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida said that the abortion provider is “exploring every option to stop this unconstitutional ban from being implemented,” according to a report from Axios.