Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a bill into law late Thursday evening banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, which is around the time when a baby’s heartbeat can first be detected.
“We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said 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 law, also called Senate Bill 300 (House Bill 7), changes the state’s abortion law from 15 weeks to six weeks. The bill includes exceptions for rape, incest, human trafficking up to 15 weeks of pregnancy, preserving the life of the mother, or a fatal fetal abnormality in a pregnancy that has not entered the third trimester.
The legislation also requires abortions to be performed in person by a medical doctor or osteopathic physician, meaning medication abortion must be dispensed in person and not by mail.
The bill additionally includes $25 million to expand services provided by state-contracted crisis pregnancy centers. Some of these services include pregnancy testing and counseling as well as material assistance like clothing, car seats, cribs, formula, and diapers.
Signed the Heartbeat Protection Act, which expands pro-life protections and devotes resources to help young mothers and families. pic.twitter.com/quZpSj1ZPk
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 14, 2023
“In addition to legislating pro-family policies, this year’s Framework for Freedom Budget includes permanent sales tax exemptions for baby and toddler necessities, including cribs and strollers, as well as tax holidays on children’s books, toys, athletic equipment, and pet food,” DeSantis’ office said in a press release via email.
“It includes more than $96 million to support foster parents, caregivers, and children. It also includes nearly $143 million to enhance services for pregnant and postpartum women and children, which will improve maternal health outcomes for women at high risk for maternal morbidity.”
“While other states like California and New York have legalized infanticide up until birth, Governor DeSantis has enacted historic measures to defend the dignity of human life and transform Florida into a pro-family state,” his office continued.
The six-week ban will be on hold pending a ruling from the Florida Supreme Court on the constitutionality of the existing 15-week abortion law. DeSantis signed the 15-week ban into law after the state’s 2022 legislative session, and the law was swiftly challenged by pro-abortion groups and abortionists. However, parts of SB 300 will go into effect immediately, including the funding for pregnancy resource centers, a family planning program, and other parenting-related services.
DeSantis signed the bill the same day the Florida House passed the legislation 70-40 after seven hours of debate.
“By your vote today, we change the culture of abortion to a culture of life.” – @jenna_persons, closing on Heartbeat Protection Act, which passed by a vote of 70 – 40 after 7 hours of debate. Next stop = Governor’s desk. Today she made history along with @jhcanady. #Life pic.twitter.com/Q5t018A6jO
— SpencerRoach (@SpencerRoachFL) April 13, 2023
State Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka (R-Fort Myers), one of the bill’s sponsors, celebrated its passage, calling it a “historic moment.”
“Thank you, Governor, for signing the Heartbeat Protection Act! Proud to be part of this historic moment as Florida continues to stand for life and support our mothers and families!” Persons-Mulicka tweeted Friday morning.
Thank you, Governor, for signing the Heartbeat Protection Act! Proud to be part of this historic moment as Florida continues to stand for life and support our mothers and families! https://t.co/YEWpju8daj
— Jenna Persons-Mulicka (@jenna_persons) April 14, 2023
The signing of a six-week abortion ban comes after Florida became an abortion destination state for surrounding southern states with stricter laws following the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision. As Breitbart News previously reported, 6,708 abortions were performed on out-of-state patients in 2022, up from 4,873 in 2021 and 3,988 in 2020, according to state data.
The overall number of abortions has also grown as the state continues to grow in population. In 2022, there were 82,192 total abortions, 75,118 of which were in the first trimester and 7,074 in the second trimester, according to the AHCA. In 2021, there were 79,817 total abortions, 74,967 of which were in the first trimester and 4,850 in the second trimester. The year 2020 saw 74,868 total abortions, with 70,594 in the first trimester and 4,274 in the second trimester.
Florida will no longer be the fifth highest abortion state in the nation thanks to the Heartbeat Protection Act.
Thank you @GovRonDeSantis for having the courage to do the right thing. You are setting the standard for GOP and they should follow your lead. https://t.co/MFJ54rLK8A
— Kristan Hawkins (@KristanHawkins) April 14, 2023
“Florida will no longer be the fifth highest abortion state in the nation thanks to the Heartbeat Protection Act,” Students for Life Action President Kristan Hawkins noted. “Thank you @GovRonDeSantis for having the courage to do the right thing. You are setting the standard for GOP and they should follow your lead.”
Planned Parenthood of Florida slammed DeSantis for signing legislation protecting the lives of unborn babies and called him a “coward.” The abortion giant affiliate also accused the female state lawmakers involved of serving “white men” and the “white patriarchy.”
While Florida is sleeping, Ron DeSantis just signed a bill to ban abortion at 6 weeks and give $25 million in funding to non-medical anti-abortion fake clinics into law.
— Florida Planned Parenthood Action (@PPactionFL) April 14, 2023
“White women, who enjoy proximal power from their association with white men, have often served as the white patriarchy’s most eager foot soldiers."
~ Rebecca Traister https://t.co/J1bippE46D
— Florida Planned Parenthood Action (@PPactionFL) April 14, 2023
However, former abortionist Dr. Kathi Aultman, who has since become pro-life, issued a statement via email celebrating the move.
“After performing hundreds of abortions, I know without hesitation that abortion after six weeks stops a beating heart. The cardiovascular system is the first organ system to function, and at this stage of development, the heart beats around 110 beats per minute. Research has shown that if a heartbeat is detected, a baby has more than a 90% chance of surviving to birth,” Aultman said.
“I wish this kind of protection had been in place when I chose to have my abortion. It would have saved my child and saved me a lifetime of regret,” she continued.
SBA Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser also released a statement via email, calling the bill’s signing an “enormous victory in the battle for human rights.”
“No longer will Florida account for 10 percent of abortions in the nation or be known as an abortion destination. More moms who need financial and emotional support will get the help they need during pregnancy and after their child is born,” Dannenfelser said. “Most of all, tens of thousands of precious boys and girls will live and have the opportunity to pursue their dreams, bless the lives of others, and enhance Florida’s communities.”
“Gov. DeSantis has always been a bold pro-life voice, never flinching in the face of extremist opposition in order to stand proudly in defending Floridians,” she continued. “That’s why he, Florida’s Republican legislators and Attorney General Moody saw such overwhelming victories in the mid-term elections last year, and why the state of Florida is a shining example to others in the Dobbs era.”
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