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  • Rachel Schilke, Washington Examiner

Florida Senate passes six-week abortion ban

The Florida Senate passed a six-week abortion ban, the latest Republican-led state to tighten laws allowing abortion.

The Senate passed the bill on Monday afternoon in a 26-13 vote, according to local station WCTV. The bill will head to the House before it heads to Gov. Ron DeSantis 's (R-FL) desk. The measure was a last-minute amendment to the Heartbeat Protection Act.

Republican state Sen. Erin Grall, the sponsor of the bill, called it a compromise because the bill tightens restrictions against abortions to one of the smallest in the country but allows exceptions for rape and incest.

However, Grall admitted it is not as strict as she'd like.

"The termination of life, period, meets the definition of murder," she said.

The bill will likely pass the House because both chambers are controlled by Republicans. DeSantis has said he will sign the bill if it is sent to his desk.

“We’re for pro-life. I urge the legislature to work, produce good stuff, and we will sign,” DeSantis said in February when asked if he would support a six-week abortion ban.

As of March 23, 13 states have enacted total bans on abortion , most of them in southern states. If the Florida Legislature passes the bill, it will join Georgia as the two states with a six-week ban. Several other states have bans spanning from 15 to 22 weeks, with some bans blocked or being challenged in court.

In Florida, abortion is banned at 15 weeks of pregnancy. The state Supreme Court ruled close to 30 years ago that the right to an abortion was enshrined in its constitution, but the court has become more conservative since then. It was one of several states in which bans went into effect following the striking down of Roe v. Wade.

This bill could boost DeSantis's expected run for president in 2024 among Republicans who support abortion restrictions, joining several legislative wins with which the governor is expected to leave the 2023 Florida legislative session.


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