Washington D.C., Apr 14, 2023 / 14:15 pm
Florida’s Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation that would prohibit abortions after six weeks’ gestation, but the legislation will not go into effect until the Florida Supreme Court settles a lawsuit related to the state’s current 15-week gestation limit.
The bill, known as the Heartbeat Protection Act, passed the Senate 26-13 and the House 70-40. It received support from most of the Legislature’s Republicans with only a few dissenters and was opposed by Democratic leadership. The governor signed the bill shortly after it passed the House.
“We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida,” DeSantis, a Republican, said in a statement. “I applaud the Legislature for passing the Heartbeat Protection Act that expands pro-life protections and provides additional resources for young mothers and families.”
Even though the bill passed, the law cannot be enacted unless the Florida Supreme Court upholds the state’s current 15-week limit. Although the current Florida precedent recognizes a constitutional right to an abortion based on the state constitution’s right to privacy, Attorney General Ashley Moody argued before the Supreme Court that the precedent was based on the now-overturned Roe v. Wade justification. She has urged the court to overturn the previous Florida ruling and allow the lawmakers to regulate abortion as they choose.