Florida House Representatives Present Resolution to Ban Abortion After 6 Weeks

Florida Six-Week Abortion Ban (Photo: USA Today Network)

Florida state lawmakers introduced legislation on Tuesday that would prohibit abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, a period when many women are unaware they are pregnant.

The proposed law, introduced in both the House and Senate of Florida, would classify performing an abortion after this six-week mark as a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison.

The legislation includes limited exceptions for cases of medical emergencies, rape, incest, and fatal fetal abnormalities.

Abortions due to rape or incest would be permitted up to the 15th week of pregnancy, provided the woman provides evidence such as a restraining order, police report, medical record, or court documentation proving the incident.

In cases of severe medical emergencies threatening the woman’s life or substantial bodily impairment, the legislation requires certification by two physicians; if a second physician is unavailable, one may make the determination alone.

Furthermore, abortions would be allowed up to the third trimester if the fetus is diagnosed with a fatal abnormality, with certification required from two physicians.

The White House condemned the proposed legislation, highlighting its potential to restrict access not only for nearly 4 million women of reproductive age in Florida but also for the broader population across the Southern states, many of which already have stringent abortion laws or bans in place.

Florida Presents Abortion Ban Legislature, Governer DeSantis (Photo: Phil Sears)

Currently, Florida law permits abortion up to the 15th week of pregnancy.

“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.

The legislation also mandates that the abortion pill mifepristone be dispensed by a physician during an in-person appointment, prohibiting its distribution through mail services like the U.S. Postal Service.

Republicans introduced the bill in the Florida legislature on the same day that Governor Ron DeSantis delivered his annual State of the State address, where he affirmed his administration’s stance on abortion.

DeSantis had previously signed legislation in April 2022 banning abortion after 15 weeks, which took effect shortly after the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, thereby ending federal protections for abortion rights.

Florida had previously allowed abortions up to the 24th week of pregnancy before these recent legislative changes.

Categorized as Health

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