Florida Republicans in the House and Senate have introduced legislation to ban abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.
Governor Ron DeSantis has vowed to sign the bill if it passes.
The bill will make performing an abortion a third-degree felony and punishable by up to five years in prison if done after the six-week mark.
The proposed legislation has narrow exceptions for medical emergencies and if the fetus is not viable.
In the cases of rape and incest, abortions can only be conducted up to the 15-week mark, and the woman must provide evidence that she is the victim of a crime. This can include a restraining order, police report, medical report, or other documentation from a court.
Regarding medication abortions, the bill states that “medications intended for use in a medical abortion be dispensed in person by a physician” and it prohibits “the dispensing of such medication through the United States Postal Service or any other courier or shipping service.” This would stop the telemedicine market from giving patients the pills to terminate a pregnancy.
The White House has condemned the proposed legislation, claiming that it harms not only the women of Florida — but also those who live in nearby banned states and have been traveling to the state for the procedure.
“This ban would prevent not just the nearly 4 million Florida women of reproductive age from accessing abortion care after six weeks, but would also impact the nearly 15 million women of reproductive age who live in states across the South with abortion bans and would no longer be able to rely on Florida as an option to access care,” said White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre.
“Like the overwhelming majority of Americans, the president and the vice president believe women should be able to make health care decisions with their own doctors and families, free from political interference. Period,” Jean-Pierre said. “They are committed to protecting access to reproductive care and continuing to call on Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade.”
Governor DeSantis did not discuss the bill specifically during his State of the State address on the same day the legislation was introduced but did say that “we are proud to be pro-life in the state of Florida.”
During a press conference in February, DeSantis indicated that he would sign a bill that banned abortions after six weeks.
“We’re for pro-life. I urge the legislature to work, produce good stuff, and we will sign,” DeSantis said.