Protesting abortions at Supreme Court – Courtesy: Shutterstock – Image by Wild 2 Free
Beginning with the 15-week ban in 2022, Florida lawmakers introduced a six-week abortion ban to further restrict the ability of Florida moms to get the procedure.
However, Senate Bill 300 and House Bill 7, collectively known as the “Pregnancy and Parenting Support Act,” do include exceptions for rape and incest as well as medical emergencies to save the pregnant mother’s life or prevent serious injury. House Bill 5, which was passed last year, does not include exceptions for rape, incest, or human trafficking.
According to official data, abortion tourism in Florida will increase by over 40% in 2022.
Nevertheless, moms who want an abortion for a child born as a result of rape or incest would have to present copies of restraining orders, police reports, medical records, or court documents to demonstrate that they are victims of rape or incest in order to claim that exception. The exception to the ban would be increased to 15 weeks, as opposed to the others’ six-week limit, should the records for the request to end the pregnancy be provided.
The bill would also mandate that the doctor notify Florida’s central abuse hotline of the rape or incest incident if the mother is a minor, as required by state law.
The provision of abortion is more restricted in Florida, as stated in the bill’s language. Specifically, even if the technique is pharmacological rather than physical, patients must have a doctor present in the room with them when having an abortion. Likewise, doctors are not allowed to schedule telemedicine visits for abortions, not even to prescribe medicines that cause them.
If the law is approved, sending abortion medicine via mail would also be prohibited.
Additionally, the bill expressly repeals existing laws that permit abortions of viable pregnancies. The legislation’s language also specifies that certain provisions go into effect 30 days after the Florida Supreme Court rules on several challenges contesting the ban on 15-week abortions. The relevant portions are those that address when an abortion may be provided or obtained after the standard six-week window.
On the first day of the Florida legislative session, a bill legalizing abortion was introduced. HB 7 and SB 300 also call for the Florida Department of Health to provide the Governor and the Legislature with information about the Florida Pregnancy Care Network, Inc., including the number of clients served, the services provided, and the demographics of eligible clients.
The Florida Pregnancy Care Network is authorized to offer “pregnancy and parenting support services,” which include services that encourage and support childbirth as well as prenatal testing and counseling, education for expectant mothers and their families, non-medical material assistance to improve a family’s parenting situation, such as the purchase of clothing, car seats, cribs, formula, and diapers, mentoring and classes for pregnancy, parenting, and adolescent development,
Republicans in Florida submit legislation to outlaw abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
If federal law forbids the use of state funds for such purposes, or if there is a “medical necessity for legitimate emergency medical procedures for termination of pregnancy” that would save the mother’s life or prevent serious risks of impending, significant, and irreversible physical impairment” of the mother, state funds may not be used to pay for travel to another state to be treated with or receive services meant to enable or support an abortion.
In the event that the measure is approved by both chambers of the Florida Legislature, which both have Republican super majorities, Governor Ron DeSantis has already stated he will sign it into law. The bill would enter into force right away if it were signed into law.
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