State Watch

DeSantis signs 15-week abortion ban

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Thursday signed a 15-week abortion ban that does not include exceptions for incest, rape or human trafficking.

“We are here today to protect life. We are here today to defend those who can’t defend themselves,” DeSantis said at an event marking the signing of the bill.

DeSantis indicated that he would sign the bill when it was going through the Florida Legislature. The state Senate passed the bill and sent it to the governor’s desk in early March. Prior to the bill’s signing, abortions in Florida were permitted up to 24 weeks into a pregnancy.

The bill does include exceptions to the ban if there is a fetal abnormality or if it is necessary to save the life or prevent severe harm to the pregnant individual.

The Florida bill mirrors an abortion ban passed in Mississippi, which also bans most abortions after 15 weeks, that is currently being argued in the Supreme Court.

Both bills are directly at odds with the landmark Roe v. Wade 1973 Supreme Court decision that guarantees access to an abortion before fetal viability — around 23 weeks.

The Supreme Court heard arguments on the Mississippi law in December, with several of the bench’s conservative justices, who hold a majority, seemingly in favor of siding with Mississippi. A final decision regarding this case is not expected until sometime this summer.

The bill’s signing comes just one day after the Kentucky state legislature overrode a veto by Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear of a bill that similarly banned abortions after 15 weeks and put numerous other restriction in place.

Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union have already announced plans to challenge the Kentucky bill, and the legislation signed by DeSantis on Thursday is likely to also face challenges in court.

Tags abortion access abortion ban abortion rights Andy Beshear Florida Ron DeSantis Ron DeSantis

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