Florida’s State Senate on Thursday passed legislation banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy within the Sunshine State.
The bill goes to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who has vowed to sign “in short order.”
In a 23-15 vote in favor of the bill, the Republican-led Senate passed H.B. 5 to make abortions illegal in Florida if the child was conceived at least 15 weeks prior.
The legislation was passed in anticipation of a potential Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade later this year.
BREAKING: The Florida legislature has passed a bill to ban abortions on babies after 15 weeks, which will save 5,000 babies from abortion every year.
— LifeNews.com (@LifeNewsHQ) March 4, 2022
FLORIDA: Republican-led Senate gave final passage to a bill to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, putting the state one step closer to adopting a gestational limit currently under review by the U.S. Supreme Court. https://t.co/FZu3qyAU8g pic.twitter.com/Gf7Jhdup9R
— Newsmax (@newsmax) March 4, 2022
As reported by LifeSiteNews:
The bill includes exceptions in two cases: first, when “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;” and second, when a baby is considered to have suffered a “fatal fetal abnormality,” which the bill describes as “a terminal condition that, in reasonable medical judgment, regardless of the provision of life-saving medical treatment, is incompatible with life outside the womb and will result in death upon birth or imminently thereafter.”
On Wednesday, Republicans voted down an amendment to the bill which would extend the exceptional cases to include incest, rape, and human trafficking.
Bill sponsor Sen. Kelli Stargel defended the decision not to include rape and incest as exceptions to the rule, stating that a child should not “be killed because of the circumstances in which it was conceived.”
Newsmax noted the governor’s eagerness to sign the bill into law:
“Governor DeSantis is pro-life and has voiced support for the concepts in this bill,” his spokesperson, Christina Pushaw, said earlier in the day.
Enactment of the bill would significantly reduce access to late-term abortions for women across the U.S. Southeast, many of whom travel hundreds of miles to end pregnancies in Florida because of stricter abortion laws in surrounding states.
The state currently permits abortions within up to 24 weeks of pregnancy without a mandatory waiting period, meaning a woman can terminate her pregnancy the day she arrives at a clinic.
Once signed into law, H.B. 5 would go into effect on July 1st.