Florida Government Bans Abortions

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bill banning most abortions after six weeks, hours after the White House called the measure “extreme and dangerous.”

“We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said in a statement.

The bill bans women from having an abortion in Florida after six weeks of gestation unless the pregnancy endangers the mother’s health, is the result of rape or incest and does not exceed 15 weeks, or the fetus is not viable.

The White House slammed the move, saying it “flies in the face of fundamental freedoms and is out of step with the views of the vast majority” of Americans.

“This ban would prevent four million Florida women of reproductive age from accessing abortion care after six weeks — before many women even know they’re pregnant,” White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.

Florida’s Republican-dominated legislature passed the text hours earlier with 70 votes to 40.

It was the second time in a year that Florida cut the legal term for abortion.

In April 2022, DeSantis signed a bill that reduced it from 24 to 15 weeks, with no exceptions for rape or incest.

The new bill’s text will not enter into force until the Florida Supreme Court rules on an appeal filed by several associations against the 15-week limit, arguing that the law violates a state privacy clause.

DeSantis, a rising star among the American right wing, is burning his conservative credentials with the bill as he considers a run for his party’s 2024 presidential nomination.

Proponents of the new abortion deadline claim it is necessary to protect the lives of innocent children.

The Democratic opposition and activists in favour of abortion rights say the state should not interfere in private decisions and warn about the negative consequences of the limit for many women.

“This bill bans abortion legally, but it will not ban it in reality,” said Democratic Congresswoman Lindsay Cross during the debate in the Lower House.

“Abortions will be performed in private, without medical supervision and with increased risk to women’s health, physical and mental well-being.”

Sixty-four per cent of Floridians believe abortion should be allowed in all or most cases, according to a survey by the nonprofit Public Religion Research Institute.

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