Ron DeSantis discretely signs six-week abortion law in Florida where pregnant women must show proof of rape or incest to have abortion
TALLAHASSEE, FLORIDA: Republican Gov Ron DeSantis discretely signed an overnight bill that claims pregnant women in Florida must show proof of rape or incest if they want an abortion after six weeks. The ban makes an exception if the life of the mother is at risk during which two physicians must certify in writing before a pregnancy can be terminated.
Florida is among the dozens of states to join the controversial abortion ban, which is widely slammed as an outright ban given that most women do not realize they are pregnant until after that point. Only when the mother's life is in danger, or in cases of rape and incest, can it be considered an exception, but only under specific conditions. Violating the law is a felony of the third degree.
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Signed the Heartbeat Protection Act, which expands pro-life protections and devotes resources to help young mothers and families. pic.twitter.com/quZpSj1ZPk— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) April 14, 2023
The restrictions and exceptions in Florida's abortion law
In the case of abortion, two doctors have to certify in writing that an abortion is necessary to save the woman's life or to avert serious health risks. However, these challenges do not include the mental health aspects of the woman's life. Furthermore, if no doctor is available, one must certify in writing that there is a medical necessity and no doctor is available. In addition, for rape or incest arriving for abortion, the woman must provide a copy of a restraining order, police report, medical record, or other court order or documentation proving her victim status.
Abortions are allowed if the pregnancy has not progressed to the third trimester, during which two doctors have to certify in writing that the fetus has a fatal fetal abnormality. Abortion pills must be disbursed in person by physicians, prohibiting telehealth visits or delivery of abortion pills by mail.
'This bill threatens to end abortion almost entirely'
DeSantis, who is running for Presidential 2024, during his speech at Liberty University in Virginia to the heavily pro-life crowd on Friday, April 14, failed to mention the restrictive new abortion law he signed in the evening. However, a picture from the movement on Twitter showed the Gov signing the law with a group of state lawmakers who voted for it. Rising speculations claim the abortion law could support him among GOP voters in a presidential primary, but recent polling shows that the majority of Americans support abortion rights, including Republicans. That means the new law could only fire back at DeSantis among independent and swing voters in a national election.
BREAKING: Gov. Josh Shapiro blasts Ron DeSantis for signing a near-total abortion ban in the dark of night: “He's just a profoundly weak person and weak character."— MeidasTouch (@MeidasTouch) April 14, 2023
On the bill: "[It] takes away the freedom for millions of women in Florida. We will never do that here in PA." pic.twitter.com/hzC3B6y5MU
"DeSantis is a coward who doesn't want Floridians to know about his extreme anti-abortion platform, which is why he signed this bill as quickly as possible and with no press coverage," said Democratic state Rep. Anna Eskamani, who was one of the leaders opposing the bill. Meanwhile, abortion rights activists slammed the bill's restrictions saying, "Florida lawmakers have rushed this dangerous ban through the legislature with no concern for their citizens and how it will harm them. This bill threatens to end abortion almost entirely amid a growing public health crisis. If this ban takes effect, Floridians would be stranded in a vast abortion desert and forced to travel over 1,000 miles to get an abortion," Elisabeth Smith, director of state policy and advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement, as per Daily Mail.
Laura Goodhue, executive director of Florida Alliance of Planned Parenthood Affiliates, said, "Gov. DeSantis, and many lawmakers in Florida, are hellbent on tyrannical control of our bodies. This shameful abortion ban is only the tip of the iceberg. These political moves have devastating consequences for the health of our communities, and they directly go against Floridians' will. Gov. DeSantis's audition for the presidency doesn't define us as Floridians."