6-week abortion ban on its way to State House, its future depends on FL Supreme Court
A six-week abortion ban passed through the Fl. Senate Monday and is expected to continue moving its way through the Republican supermajority-held legislature. However, its future depends on the Florida Supreme Court's decision regarding a previous ban.
In the meantime, tensions over the bill are running high, said Stephanie Fraim director of Planned Parenthood.
"What a bait and switch," Fraim said. "We were upset we spoke out loudly. We've brought people to testify about the 15-week ban, explaining to legislators how dangerous this was for Florida families. And how actually cruel it was to take this out of the hands of families and give it to legislators."
Anger reached a boiling point Monday night after 11 people — including Florida Democrat Party chair, Niki Fried — were arrested after protesting the bill outside of Tallahassee City Hall.
Senate Bill 300, or the Heartbeat Protection Act, includes exceptions for rape and incest up to 15 weeks as well as medical emergencies. The bill also expands on a 15-week ban passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis last year.
However, that 15-week ban may be this current piece of legislature undoing, Fraim said. Currently, DeSantis' proposed ban is under challenge in the state Supreme Court. Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida filed a lawsuit arguing that the law is "unconstitutional" and violates a Floridian's right to privacy, Fraim said. The right was broadened in the Florida constitution during a revision over 40 years ago.
"Floridians want their privacy protected, including their privacy for health care," Fraim said. "We challenged the 15-week ban because that too is unconstitutional under Florida's current constitution. So politicians and Tallahassee are pushing through this, frankly, quite cruel legislation in order to strip Floridians of their essential health care against the Florida constitution."
The bill has moved to the State House of Representatives and should receive a vote sometime late next week.