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Are You Ready For Gov. DeSantis’ 6 Week Abortion Ban In 2024?

Are You Ready For Gov. DeSantis' 6 Week Abortion Ban In 2024?
“We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida.” — Governor Ron DeSantis

After passing a 15-week abortion limit for Florida in 2022, this year in April, stricter limits were written in Senate Bill 300 (SB 300). Gov. DeSantis and lawmakers approved the plan to prevent abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.

The House of Representatives approved SB 300 by a 70-40 vote.
The Senate also passed the bill with a vote of 26-13.

An issue regarding the interpretation of privacy rights exists. The six-week limit would take effect if the Florida Supreme Court ruled that a privacy clause in the state Constitution does not protect abortion rights.

SB 300 offers exceptions. The legislation makes exceptions for abortions in cases of rape, incest, human trafficking, and when the mother’s life or health are at serious risk.

Even with its exceptions, the bill would become the strictest abortion ban the state has had in recent memory.

Pro-Choice, Pro-Life?

Critics of the bill say many people are unaware they are pregnant before six weeks. There would be little time to receive care under the state’s 24-hour, two-trip requirement.

Per the Guardian, “a whopping 62% of American adults believe abortions should be legal in “all or most cases”, according to a 2022 report published by Pew Research Center.”

Further, a 2020 Ipsos/Reuters poll found that 56% of likely voters in Florida believe abortion should be legal in most cases. And, abortion rights supporters in Florida say the bans violate the explicit privacy protections found in the state constitution.

Conversely, some pro-lifers lean on their religious beliefs. The pro-life position is also supported by science and reason and is held by many non-religious people.

Opposition to killing unborn children is no more inherently “religious” than opposition to killing teenagers (or anyone else). Moreover, the fact that a person’s position on an issue may be influenced by religion should not exclude it from public consideration. — MCCL

So, What’s Next?

Per the Florida Senate, “The provisions of the bill, other than the expansion of the pregnancy support network and the appropriations, which are effective upon the act becoming law, are effective 30 days after one of several events occurs.”

These events include:

  • A Florida Supreme Court ruling overturning In re T.W., or one of several other related cases;
  • A Florida Supreme Court ruling stating that the privacy clause in the Florida Constitution does not protect the right to abortion; or
  • An amendment to the Florida Constitution which provides the same.

These provisions were approved by the Governor on April 13, 2023. Some provisions of the bill became effective when the bill became law, and other provisions are not effective until one of several specified triggers occurs.

Following the passage of SB 300 in April, a coalition of groups in May began a drive to try to pass a constitutional amendment in 2024 to ensure abortion rights.

The proposal is spearheaded by the political committee Floridians Protecting Freedom. It seeks to ensure abortion rights up to fetal viability, which has generally been interpreted as about 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Are You Ready For Gov. DeSantis' 6 Week Abortion Ban In 2024?

On September 8, 2023, the Florida Supreme Court considered whether its abortion ban violates the right to privacy.

If the Supreme Court finds in the 15-week case that the privacy clause does not protect abortion rights, The State of Florida could effectively move forward with the six-week limit.

The 6-week ban would go into effect 30 days after the court rules.

As of the beginning of September, the needed petition for the 2024 ballot appeared to have enough signatures to trigger a Supreme Court review.

If justices sign off on the wording, Floridians Protecting Freedom would need to submit at least 891,523 valid petition signatures statewide.

2024 looms.

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