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Florida GOP passes 6-week abortion ban; Gov. DeSantis signs bill

Posted at 5:10 PM, Apr 13, 2023

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — The Republican-dominated Florida Legislature approved SB 300, which is a bill to ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

The Florida House of Representatives gave the proposal final passage on Thursday.

Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis has said he supports the bill and late Thursday night the governor's office announced DeSantis signed the bill.

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Governor Ron DeSantis signed SB 300, the Heartbeat Protection Act, which prohibits abortions once the unborn child has a detectible heartbeat.

“We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida,” said DeSantis in a statement. “I applaud the Legislature for passing the Heartbeat Protection Act that expands pro-life protections and provides additional resources for young mothers and families.”

The policy would also have wider implications for abortion access throughout the South as some nearby states have total bans in place.

Florida currently prohibits abortions after 15 weeks.

This vote was mostly along party lines.

Republicans used their supermajority to get the bill across the finish line — even with a few defections — and lots of protests.

House Democrats warned six weeks is before many know they’re pregnant — suggesting women will turn to dangerous alternatives without access.

“How many more women will get hurt in the meantime? The meantime matters. It is a matter of life and death,” Rep. Fentrice Driskell, (D) House Minority Leader said.

The GOP-led Florida Senate previously approved the bill April 3.

WHAT IS NEXT?
The bill becoming law is dependent on a challenge of the current 15-week abortion law by a group of abortion providers.

The case is currently active in the Florida Supreme Court.