A proposal to ban abortion for women six weeks pregnant received overwhelming approval from a Florida House committee Thursday, with even Democratic lawmakers acknowledging there is nothing they can do to stop it from finally becoming law. .
The proposal moves forward as appeals continue to the ban on abortion for 15-week pregnancies signed into law by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis last year. The new proposal will only enter into force if the current law is maintained and will make it a crime to perform an abortion after six weeks.
“This is a bill that recognizes the importance and value of the lives of innocent, unborn human beings,” Republican Congresswoman Jenna Persons-Mulicka said of her proposal. “The bill before you is not solely a reflection of my personal beliefs, but the result of listening in an attempt to build consensus around life-supportive policy.”
The measure could give DeSantis, who is expected to run for president, additional elements to appeal to conservative voters. The Governor has indicated that he will support the proposed ban.
There will be an exception to save the life of the woman and exceptions in the case of pregnancy caused by rape or incest up to 15 weeks of gestation. In these cases, the woman will have to provide documentation such as her medical history, a restraining order or a police report.
Detractors claim that when a woman finds out she is pregnant, it is either too late to have an abortion or there is too little time to plan one, especially for victims of rape and incest. They stress that trying to get an abortion will be even more difficult for women in rural areas with limited medical care.
“This bill is too restrictive. The amount of paperwork that a woman has to go through to prove that she has been raped re-traumatizes her,” said Democratic Rep. Robin Bartleman, adding that most rapes go unreported.
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