Full Florida Senate to Vote on Banning Abortion at 6 Weeks

A pro-life, anti-abortion and pro-family activist displays a rubber foetus during a "March for Family" within the World Congress of Families (WCF) conference on March 31, 2019 in Verona. (Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP) (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)

The Florida Senate is set to vote on banning abortion at six weeks after the legislation cleared its final hurdle in committee.

The Florida Senate’s Fiscal Policy Committee heard testimony on SB 300 this week, which would move the limit on abortion from 15 weeks to six weeks, with limited exceptions. Those exceptions include rape or incest, preserving the life of the mother, or a fatal fetal abnormality in a pregnancy that has not entered the third trimester.

As for saving the life of the mother, for instance, the legislation states:

Two physicians certify in writing that, in reasonable medical judgment, the termination of the pregnancy is necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life or avert a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman other than a psychological condition.

Further, the legislation requires doctors to report the rape or incest of minors to “the central abuse hotline,” and it also prohibits the use of “telehealth” to perform abortions. Further, it bans anyone other than a physician from conducting the abortion as well.

“Any person who wilfully performs, or actively participates in, a termination of pregnancy in violation of the requirements of this section or s. 390.01112 commits a felony of the third degree, punishable as provided in s. 775.082, s. 231 775.083, or s. 775.084,” the legislation reads, adding that anyone who violates the requirements and performs an abortion that results in the death of the woman will face a “felony of the second degree.”

“We are here to have the conversation about what Florida wants to stand for,” the bill’s sponsor state Sen. Erin Grall (R) stated. “Does Florida want to promote a culture of life — where all life is important?”

However, Democrats in the state Senate are, unsurprisingly, opposed.

“We’re taking away free will,” Democrat state Sen. Geraldine Thompson (D) said. “We’re taking away choice. That’s what this comes down to.”

Notably, a baby’s heartbeat begins as early as three weeks into a pregnancy, and it can be detected around the six week mark.


Meanwhile, the Florida House is working to pass its version of the legislation — HB 7 — as the House Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee has advanced the bill, which still faces final hurdles in the committee before a full House vote.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has indicated that he will sign additional pro-life legislation — a move which would follow the governor signing a 15-week abortion ban into law nearly a year ago, in April 2022. Months later, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, sending the decisions on abortion back to the states.

When asked about pro-life legislation earlier this year, DeSantis said, “We’re for pro-life.”

“I urge the legislature to work, produce good stuff, and we will sign,” he continued, adding that it is “what I’ve always wanted to do.”


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