Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed a bill passed by the GOP-controlled legislature barring abortions in the state beyond 15 weeks, marking the latest red state to do so as the U.S. Supreme Court considers two abortion-related cases ahead of an expected ruling in June.
The law, known as HB 5, provides for exceptions such as when the mother’s life is at risk or in danger of “irreversible physical impairment,” or if the unborn baby has a fetal abnormality, such as Down Syndrome. However, it does not contain an exemption for a woman who is raped.
“These are protections for babies that have heartbeats, that can feel pain,” DeSantis said of HB 5 in March, when he indicated that planned to sign the measure. “And this [15 weeks] is very, very late. And so I think the protections are warranted. And I think that we’ll be able to sign that in short order.”
There it is: @GovRonDeSantis bans late term abortions in Florida! pic.twitter.com/aXqDQDO93V
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) April 14, 2022
The Daily Wire adds:
The Florida governor signed HB 5 as pro-life activists and Republican lawmakers push for officials to investigate the abortions of five preemie-sized babies that activists say they intercepted outside a Washington, D.C., abortion clinic.
D.C. officials have indicated they will not perform autopsies on the babies, prompting Republicans like Texas Rep. Chip Roy to question whether “Mayor Bowser and her radically pro-abortion cronies” are avoiding autopsies for ideological reasons.
Naturally, the abortion ban got strong pushback from Democrats everywhere, from Biden’s White House to left-wing groups like intentionally misnamed Center for ‘Reproductive’ Rights.
“If this ban is allowed to take effect, Floridians will be forced to travel more than 1,000 miles roundtrip to get an abortion after 15 weeks,” Elisabeth Smith, Director of State Policy & Advocacy at the center, said in a statement in late March.
“The stakes in the Supreme Court right now could not be higher. Americans of reproductive age today have never known a world in which they do not have the right to abortion,” she continued.
Biden said in a tweet late last month: “Last night, the Republican-controlled Florida legislature passed a dangerous bill that will severely restrict women’s access to reproductive health care. My Administration will not stand for the continued erosion of women’s constitutional rights.”
That led to big-time pushback from Cristina Pushaw, DeSantis’ feisty spokeswoman. She responded by asking why he did not note that the legislature protects unborn babies after 15 weeks, adding that the Biden regime has repeatedly refused to indicate where it draws the line in terms of abortion, which has led many people to believe that Biden thinks abortion at any stage of pregnancy is fine and dandy.
“That is when they can already feel pain and they’re getting close to viability,” she wrote. “Babies have been born at 20 weeks and survived. What you’re arguing for is unfettered LATE TERM abortion.”
In January, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the Democrat-controlled chamber would be voting to codify the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling establishing — somehow — a constitutional right to an abortion into law.
“Upon our return, the House will bring up Congresswoman Judy Chu’s Women’s Health Protection Act to enshrine into law reproductive health care for all women across America,” Pelosi said in a statement after the high court refused to block a Texas law that bans abortion after fetal heart tones are detected, which generally occurs at about six weeks.
Texas’ law is one that currently is being considered by the Supreme Court. The other is a Mississippi law that also bars abortions after 15 weeks.
Some legal and constitutional experts believe the high court won’t outlaw abortions altogether but will more likely return the issue to states and allow them to decide, which was the case before the Roe v. Wade ruling.