Florida Senate to vote on ‘heartbeat’ bill banning most abortions after six weeks

Florida State Capitol Buildings In Tallahassee Florida
The old and new Florida State Capitol buildings in downtown Tallahassee, Florida. (iStock)

Florida Senate to vote on ‘heartbeat’ bill banning most abortions after six weeks

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Florida’s Senate is set to vote on a heartbeat bill banning most abortions after six weeks.

The measure was added as a last-minute amendment to S.B. 300, dubbed the “Heartbeat Protection Act.”

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“Once there is a heartbeat, we do not believe that an abortion should occur,” Republican state Sen. Erin Grall, the sponsor of the bill, told the state Senate, according to the Palm Beach Post. “This is an issue about when do we draw the line when it comes to morality.”

The bill would require “the Department of Health to contract for the management and delivery of parenting support services, in addition to pregnancy support services; prohibiting physicians from knowingly performing or inducing a termination of pregnancy after the gestational age of the fetus is determined to be more than 6 weeks, rather than 15 weeks, with exceptions; providing an exception if the woman obtaining the abortion is doing so because she is a victim of rape, incest, or human trafficking, subject to certain conditions,” according to a summary of the bill on the Florida Senate’s website.

Grall described the bill as a compromise. The amendment tightens the window for allowing an abortion to one of the smallest in the country. However, the exceptions, including allowing abortion in the case of rape or incest, are popular with most voters, including a majority of those who oppose abortion.

While the bill offers some leeway for abortion rights advocates, it is not as strict as Grall said she would have liked.

“The termination of life, period, meets the definition of murder,” she said.

The bill was met with fierce resistance from Democrats, who are heavily outnumbered in both chambers of government.

“There is a difference in religion about when life begins,” state Sen. Tina Polsky, a Democrat, said when explaining her objection to the bill, citing her Jewish faith as a reason for her objection. She claimed that Judaism does not hold that fetuses are separate from the mother.

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If the bill passes both chambers of the state legislature, which have Republican supermajorities, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) has signaled that he will sign it.

“We’re for pro-life. I urge the legislature to work, produce good stuff, and we will sign,” DeSantis said in February when asked if he would support a six-week abortion ban.

© 2023 Washington Examiner

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