Gov. DeSantis quietly signs ‘Heartbeat Protection Act’ banning abortion after 6-weeks

The new law makes concessions that the 15-week ban before it did not.

Only hours after the majority of lawmakers voted it through, Governor. Ron DeSantis has signed a bill that bans abortions after six weeks.

He said, “We are proud to support family and life in Florida.” “I applauded the Legislature for passing Heartbeat Protection Act, which expands prolife protections and offers additional resources to young mothers and their families.

The measure (SB 300), passed by 70-40, with seven Republicans voting against it with Democrats, makes concessions that the 15-week ban before did not. These include exceptions for incest and rape.

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The new law permits abortions up to 15 weeks of pregnancy for women who were impregnated by human trafficking, rape or incest, including statutory sexual assault. Doctors may allow abortions through the first trimester if they determine that a woman is at high risk of dying, has suffered “substantial irreversible damage” or has a fetus with a “fatal abnormality”.

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo was able convince her Republican colleagues to support the exemptions. The bill includes a $25 million expansion of the Florida Pregnancy Care Network that offers pregnancy support services throughout the state, and a $5 million program to promote contraception.

House members discussed the bill for over seven hours Thursday on the floor. Democrats offered nearly 60 amendments, but were unsuccessful. The bill would have been renamed the “Forced Pregnancy Act” and a third would have required three months parental leave in the event of a denied abortifacient.

Anna Eskamani of Orlando, who worked previously for Planned Parenthood and was a former representative of DeSantis, proposed an amendment that would have stated the law would be in effect “21 year after the death the last living descendant of Charles III, King England, on July 1, 2023.”

No one has a traction.

In a statement to the press announcing DeSantis’s signature, the Governor’s Office took a swipe at California and New York which “have legalized abortion up to birth” while DeSantis has “enacted historic measures in order to defend dignity of life and transform Florida to a prolife state.”

The measure was sponsored by Erin Grall, a Republican from Fort Pierce and Reps. Jennifer Canady and Jenn Persons-Mulicka both of Fort Myers.

Only nine Republican legislators voted against the bill in each chamber — Senators. Alexis Calatayud, Corey Simon and Representatives Mike Caruso and Karen Gonzalez Pittman.

Fentrice Driskell, House Minority leader, praised her Democratic colleagues after the vote but before DeSantis had signed SB 300. She said that they had fought against the bill even though there were not enough votes to stop it from being passed. The Democrats hold 30% of seats in the two chambers of the Legislature.

She wrote on Twitter: “(Florida House Democrats), they left everything on the field today for the people in Florida, fighting for more than 7 hours straight against Republicans’ extreme 6 week ban that will effectively end the right for an abortion in this State,” she wrote. “Abortion, to me, is health care. Each woman should have the right to make her own private and personal decisions, in consultation with family members, doctors and religious leaders. She doesn’t need Tallahassee politicians to be watching her.”

She added that “we don’t yet have the votes to stop the madness, but we will have them next time.”

Keep watching — DeSantis is showing his true colours and it’s our job to stop him.