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SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

SOCO Student Media from Colorado State University Pueblo

The Today

Florida bans abortion past six weeks

Photo provided by Pexels.

By Julian Volk

After much outcry from conservative Floridians, Florida’s Senate passed a new law on abortion on April 4, 2023.

Florida’s new bill now makes most abortions past six weeks of pregnancy illegal. They are the latest southeastern state to join the group that has banned abortions.

Before, Florida had a law banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Around a month ago, Republicans in the state House of Representatives introduced this new bill banning them after six weeks.

The Republican-majority Florida Senate passed the new bill with a vote of 26-13. Republicans take over twenty-eight seats in Florida’s Senate, almost the exact number of votes in favor of the new bill. 

New-age conservatives have strived to end abortion in the United States for a few years. However, everything kicked off in mid-2022 with the overturning of the 1973 Supreme Court Case Roe v. Wade, which had protected all Americans’ right to an abortion.

However, with President Trump’s appointments of Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Cony Barret, all Republicans, to the Supreme Court, far-right conservative values began to triumph in court. The banning of abortion was one of these, with all judges mentioned above voting to overturn Roe v. Wade, along with other conservative judges, Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, Jr.

Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, eighteen states have voted for restrictions on abortion, including all southern states other than South Carolina and Virginia. Florida has now become the state with the tied lowest age restriction on abortion, with six weeks, without banning abortions entirely. Georgia is the other state with a ban on abortion past six weeks.

The new bill does have exceptions. Women facing life-threatening harm and victims of rape, human trafficking, and incest will all be exempt from the law.

The bill does target physicians who perform abortions and those who “actively partake in” them. Should the bill become law, those who are found to violate it will be charged with a third-degree felony in the state of Florida.

A protest over the bill occurred on the day of the Senate’s vote. Eleven people were charged with trespassing, according to Tallahassee police. Florida Democrats claim state party Chairwoman Nikki Fried and Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book were among the protesters.

“As the Democratic leader in the Florida Senate, it’s my job to lead this incredible group of eleven Democrats, other than myself, to fight against these extreme policies,” said Book. “Women will die as a consequence of this piece of policy.” Other activists in Florida claim the bill seeks to ban abortions before one may even know they are pregnant.

Kara Gross, the legislative director and senior policy counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, says the bill will disproportionately affect people in rural communities, low-income households, people of color, etc. 

With the current law, which bans abortions past 15 weeks, Florida already saw an uptick of 32% more people seeking out-of-state abortions in 2022 than in 2021. If the new law is introduced in Florida, the number is expected to almost double.

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