Politics

Florida Senate set to consider 15-week abortion limit 

On Monday, the Florida Senate Rules Committee set up a 15-week abortion ban for a vote by the full senate, where the measure is very likely to be passed and sent to GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis to be signed into law.

The bill passed the state Senate Appropriations Committee just after it passed the state House just last week following intense debate.

DeSantis indicated that he would sign the new restrictions that cut nine weeks off the current law and only makes exceptions for fetal abnormalities that do not allow the baby to make it to full term.

The bill is sponsored by state Senator Kelli Stargel of Lakeland, who defended her resistance to any additional exceptions noting that 15 weeks is plenty of time to make a decision. “I think there’s something to be said that just because a child was conceived in rape or incest – that the child cannot be loved,” she said on Monday.

While Democrats did attempt to amend the new law to include exceptions for rape, incest, or human trafficking, Republicans successfully defeated each amendment, primarily along party lines.

Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book said she acknowledged the likely approval of the full senate in upcoming days, but she still said she was hopeful for amendments that could be offered up on the Senate floor. “I believe that Floridians – regardless of their party – believe that there should be additional time for a survivor of rape, incest, or human trafficking – more time to decide,” said Senator Book.

The Florida House passed the bill last week in a nearly party-line vote of 78-39. Ultimately, the fate of the bill will be up to the United States Supreme Court, which is currently considering a decision on a similar law from Mississippi prohibiting abortions after the 15-week mark. If the law is upheld by the Supreme Court, it would mean Florida’s law likely stands as well. 

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: SUN-SENTINEL.COM

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