Florida Becomes Latest State to Pass Significant Pro-Life Measure

Florida lawmakers voted late this week to pass legislation aimed at limiting abortions.

According to Politico, the bill prohibits abortions after 15 weeks, making the Sunshine State the latest to pass what advocates call a “pro-life” measure.

“The measure prohibits women from receiving abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. It provides no exceptions for victims of rape, incest or human trafficking. Existing Florida law restricts abortions after 24 weeks,” the outlet reported.

The bill now heads to GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk, where he is expected to sign it. Then, the law will take effect July 15.

The bill, H.B. 5, allows for abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy if “[t]he fetus has not achieved viability … and two physicians certify in writing that, in reasonable medical judgement, the fetus has a fatal fetal abnormality.”

The measure also allows exceptions for the life of the mother or if it is to “avert a serious risk of imminent substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman other than a psychological condition.”

The Daily Wire notes further:

The action is the most recent effort for many Republican legislatures to move towards limiting abortion and enacting pro-life measures as the fate of Roe v. Wade and other Supreme Court abortion-related decisions are in the hands of the high court. 

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments late last year on the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case out of Mississippi over a law there that doesn’t allow abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The high court could choose to uphold the Mississippi law, cutting away at the precedent established by Planned Parenthood v. Casey and Roe v. Wade. The Justices could also decide to overturn Roe entirely or to strike down the law.

If Roe v. Wade is overturned, the decisions regarding abortion would be returned to the states rather than made legal on a broad scale across the country. 

Arizona and West Virginia are also reportedly looking at pro-life measures that are similar to the 15-week ban.

The Florida legislation was sponsored by state Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-Lakeland), who tearfully thanked God for its passage.

“I never dreamed I’d be standing here today, but actually being able to save the life of babies,” Stargel said. “God is so good.”

Democrats opposed to the measure pledge to fight against it, signaling a potential court battle ahead.