On Thursday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) signed a bill into law that bans abortion procedures after six weeks of pregnancy, marking the latest state to pass a pro-life law after the overturning of Roe v. Wade last year.
Axios reports that the bill, SB 300, forbids health providers from “knowingly performing or inducing” an abortion after a woman has been pregnant for more than six weeks. After that point, the only abortions that can be legally performed can be done up to 15 weeks of pregnancy in order to “avert a serious risk” to the woman’s health, or if there is a “fatal fetal abnormality.” The law also provides exceptions for fetuses that were conceived through rape, incest, or human trafficking.
Furthermore, the bill prohibits the use of state funds in helping a woman get an abortion from out-of-state. It also limits the access of abortion pills to in-person purchases.
The 6-week ban is set to go into effect only after the legal challenges to the state’s current 15-week ban are settled. That law is being challenged before the Florida Supreme Court, which previously ruled that abortions are legally protected under a woman’s right to privacy.
In the aftermath of the historic Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision by the United States Supreme Court last year, Florida became one of the few states that actually saw an increase in abortions, as many women from neighboring southern states came to the Sunshine State to get an abortion that was otherwise outlawed in their home states; Florida saw an increase of about 7,190 more abortions in the months following Dobbs, according to a survey by the Society of Family Planning.
Democrats lamented the passing of the pro-life bill, with State Representative Anna Eskamani (D-Fla.) claiming, without evidence, that the new law would be “absolutely devastating and dangerous.” She also claimed that the law would create “chaos and uncertainty and trauma” for women and doctors, and would cause a “huge shift of patient care to other states.”