On Thursday, the Florida Legislature passed the Heartbeat Protection Act, which nearly bans all abortion in Florida, and just around 11 p.m. Thursday night, Governor Ron DeSantis quietly signed the legislation into law, obviously hoping to tamper the wrath of the approximately 75% of Floridians who support abortion in all or most cases.
The law puts extreme pressure on women in Florida and throughout the Southeast, facing a six-week window to seek an abortion and terminate a dangerous or debilitating pregnancy.
The viciously unpopular idea is now the law.
The heavily-gerrymandered, Republican-dominated legislature voted 70-40 in favor of the bill. DeSantis’s 11 p.m. signing strongly demonstrates the near-ban’s deep unpopularity in Florida.
But Florida can stuff it. DeSantis continues to shadow campaign for the Republican nomination and he needs his MAGA bona fides in order.
Signing this draconian law allows DeSantis a couple of months lag time for Floridians to get over it before he officially announces.
From NBC News, DeSantis justified signature, sounding proud near midnight:
“We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida,” the governor 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.”
This move, however, acts as a severe blow to the lives of mothers. In a statement, Florida. Rep. Anna V. Eskamani despaired yesterday after the vote passed:
Florida Republican[s] just passed the most extreme abortion ban in Florida history. This is an incredibly sad and painful day for our state but we will not stop, or be deterred in the fight for reproductive justice and personal freedom.
(full statement embedded below)
The White House spoke out against the bill in March, knowing it was likely a done deal:
“The President and Vice President believe women should be able to make healthcare decisions with their doctors and families — free from political interference.
“They are committed to protecting access to reproductive care, and continue to call on Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade in federal law.”
The dangerously extreme law represents yet another anti-democratic move by an increasingly fascist state.
America’s Founders set up a democratic republic with the specific intent that the law reflects the will of the voters.
Under the law, victims of rape, incest and human trafficking would be able to get an abortion up to 15 weeks into a pregnancy, BUT ONLY IF the woman provides a restraining order, police report, medical record or other proof.
Doctors will also be banned from prescribing an abortion via telehealth and require medication for abortion be dispensed by a physician, not by mail.
Three out of every four Floridians support abortion in all cases or with few limits, and yet the legislature passed this bill with an ironic 70-40 vote and a governor that easily won reelection by double digits signed it.
The ramifications of the law ripple well beyond Florida.
The new law not only nearly bans abortion in Florida but now provides the bare minimum of protection for the entire Southeast.
Women from a broad swath of southern states such as those from Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Alabama once flocked to Florida as the closest option for a legal abortion.
Moreover, Florida is far larger than most realize. Women from the big cities in Southern Florida who miss the six-week window must now fly (expensive) or drive (expensive and time-consuming) for a two-five day trip somewhere to a state that provides women a more reasonable window.
Additionally, the deeply cynical law that nearly bans abortion, slashing through the majority’s position, will result in criminal charges against anyone who attempts to aid Floridian women by sending legal abortion medication (assuming it remains legal) into the state.
Some will get caught… and face legal peril for daring an attempt to wrestle control of their own bodily autonomy. If caught, they stand no chance.
Gov. DeSantis and the Florida Legislature have embedded their claim to every uterus.
Read Florida State Representative Anna Escakamani’s complete statement here:
Florida Republican just passed the most extreme abortion ban in Florida history. This is an incredibly sad and painful day for our state but we will not stop, or be deterred in the fight for reproductive justice and personal freedom.
Our full statement: pic.twitter.com/lMDNF5nM9o
— Rep. Anna V. Eskamani 🔨 (@AnnaForFlorida) April 13, 2023
Did Desantis sign the 6-week abortion bill in the middle of the night with no press because he knows how much a big majority of Floridians hate it, or is it because he only has time in his book tour to drop back into FL for a few hours?
— Ron Filipkowski (@RonFilipkowski) April 14, 2023
#BREAKING: DeSantis signs 6-week abortion ban bill https://t.co/OTQUm5ZI2W pic.twitter.com/97YwBhJgBx
— WFLA NEWS (@WFLA) April 14, 2023
Based on original reporting by NBC News.
@JasonMiciak, SUBSTACK: TRIAL BY TUCKER: THE INTERSECTION BETWEEN POLITICS, FOX, AND THE LAW