A ban on most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy became legal in Florida after Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed a bIll passed by the state legislature.
The Republican-led House of Representatives approved the Heartbeat Protection Act by a vote of 70 to 40 on Thursday.
The law, which prohibits abortions once the unborn child has a detectible heartbeat, denies pregnant women access to the procedure across the state.
This ban is estimated to impact nearly 15 million women of reproductive age who live in abortion-banning states throughout the South, many of whom have previously relied on travel to Florida as an option to access care.
After signig the bill, Governor Ron DeSantis said, “We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida. I applaud the Legislature for passing the Heartbeat Protection Act that expands pro-life protections and provides additional resources for young mothers and families.”
The White House condemned the ban. “This ban would prevent four million Florida women of reproductive age from accessing abortion care after six weeks — before many women even know they’re pregnant,” Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement.
“At every opportunity following the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, from the Kansas ballot initiative in August, to five abortion ballot initiatives in November, to last week’s elections in Wisconsin, the message has been clear: Americans demand the freedom to make their own decisions about their own bodies without government interference,” it added.
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