Florida Senate Will Vote On Six-Week Abortion Ban

The Florida Senate will vote on banning abortion after six weeks after the bill cleared its final obstacle in committee.

The Florida Senate’s Fiscal Policy Committee held hearings on Senate Bill 300, moving the limit on abortion from 15 weeks to six weeks, with several exceptions. Those exceptions include preserving the mother’s life or fatal fetal abnormalities in pregnancies that have not entered the third trimester.

Regarding saving the mother’s life, 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.”

The bill requires doctors to report if minors are violated and prohibit using “telehealth” to perform abortions. It also bans anyone other than a physician from performing abortions.

According to the U.S. government, “telehealth” allows a healthcare provider to care for individuals without requiring them to visit an office. It occurs through computers, tablets, or smartphones.

“Any person who willfully 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 bill states.

State Sen. Erin Grall (R) sponsored the legislation, asking if Florida wants to promote a “culture of life.”

“We are here to have the conversation about what Florida wants to stand for,” Grall said. “Does Florida want to promote a culture of life — where all life is important?”

Democrats in the Senate opposed the bill, arguing that it removes “free will,” and “choice.”

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

The Charlotte Lozier Institute states that a baby’s heartbeat begins after three weeks of pregnancy and is detected by the sixth week.

The Florida House is working to pass its version of the Senate’s bill, called House Bill 7. The House Healthcare Regulation Subcommittee advanced the legislation, which still faces obstacles in the committee before a House vote.

In April 2022, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation banning abortion after 15 weeks. Months later, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, sending decisions on abortion back to the states.

When asked if he would approve a six-week abortion ban, DeSantis said, “We’re for pro-life. I urge the legislature to work, produce good stuff, and we will sign.”

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