Chris Lange, FISM News
In a major victory for the pro-life movement, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed a law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
The Republican-backed Heartbeat Protection Act prohibits abortions once an unborn child’s heartbeat is detectable, typically at six weeks’ gestation. The law includes exceptions for pregnancies resulting from rape or incest.
“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,” the governor’s office said in a news release published Thursday evening.
The ban is also being viewed as a political win DeSantis as he moves closer to announcing an expected bid for the White House.
“We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida,” DeSantis was quoted as saying in the release. “I applaud the Legislature for passing the Heartbeat Protection Act that expands pro-life protections and provides additional resources for young mothers and families.”
Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America President Marjorie Dannenfelser applauded the new law as “historic” and “an enormous victory in the battle for human rights.”
“No longer will Florida account for 10% of abortions in the nation or be known as an abortion destination,” Dannenfelser said in a statement.
“We thank Gov. Ron DeSantis for following the science and the will of the people by signing the Heartbeat Protection Act into law. It is thanks to his leadership and the leadership of pro-life state leaders throughout the country that we are seeing incredible momentum in the states to protect unborn lives,” she continued.
The new law will take effect only if the state’s current 15-week abortion ban is upheld by Florida’s state Supreme Court in an ongoing legal challenge.
Republican state Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka, who brought the legislation to the House floor, also celebrated its passage.
“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,” she said, per The Associated Press.
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
Democrats were predictably furious over the news. Fox News reported that angry demonstrators stormed Florida’s Capitol building on Thursday in protest some throwing “garbage” at lawmakers.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre called the new law “extreme and dangerous” in a statement released after its passage.
“This ban would prevent four million Florida women of reproductive age from accessing abortion care after six weeks — before many women even know they’re pregnant,” she said.
Florida is one of 20 states to have passed laws protecting the lives of unborn children following the Supreme Court’s ruling last year that overturned federal abortion rights.