Florida 6-Week Abortion Ban Signed into Law


Florida Today via USA Today Network

Brevard Florida, “Shove Your 6-Week Ban” rally on April 8th, 2023.

Allison Walze, Reporter

On April 13th, Thursday night, Ron DeSantis signed the Heartbeat Protection Act into law. This law bans any abortions after a pregnancy has gone past six weeks.  

The law excludes abortions to save a woman’s life or avert a serious impairment, and the 15-week ban still will apply to cases of rape, incest, or human trafficking. The bill does not consider psychological conditions. Under this law, individuals are required to show either their medical record, a restraining order, or police report to prove they are a victim of the three cases to get an abortion. Additionally, the act will prohibit doctors from prescribing abortion pills through mail or Telehealth. It will keep the requirement of the two state-mandated in-person OBGYN appointments to be conducted at least 24 hours apart for people who seek to have an abortion.  

Upon the bill’s passing Ron DeSantis had stated, “we are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida, I applaud the Legislature for passing the Heartbeat Protection Act that expands pro-life protections and provides additional resources for young mothers and families.” Republican lawmakers have praised the bill as Republican Representative, Jenna Persons-Mulicka said, “we have the opportunity to lead the national debate about the importance of protecting life and giving every child the opportunity to be born and find his or her purpose.” The bill has received praise from many pro-life supporters.  

Though people have also called the bill a restriction of healthcare availability, and a step backwards in women’s rights. Its noted that people typically find out they are pregnant at around six weeks or past that mark, so for many it may be too late to get an abortion. On Thursday, the White House called the bill, “extreme and dangerous,” along with that the ban, “flies in the face of fundamental freedoms and is out of step with the views of the vast majority of the people of Florida and of all the United States.”  

Elisabeth Smith, director of state policy and advocate of the Center for Reproductive Rights has voiced that, “across the country, pregnant people are being pushed to the brink of death because they can’t get an abortion,” adding on, “this dangerous ban through the legislature with no concern for their citizens and how it will harm them. This bill threatens to end abortion almost entirely amid a growing public health crisis.” She also had said that Floridians will have to travel over 1,000 miles (1609.34 km) to have an abortion. Pro-choice supporters have protested this law, with rallies such as “Shove Your 6-Week Ban” that happened April 8th, in Brevard, Florida.  

Currently, the law has not taken effect and will not until the Supreme court decides whether to uphold the current 15-week ban. No date is set for this case to be heard, so as of now the 15-week ban is still in place. If the court passes the 6-week ban, it will take 30 days for the law to go into effect after the hearing. The law is also being challenged by the state constitution’s protection of privacy.