On Monday, the Florida senate passed a bill titled the Heartbeat Protection Act, which establishes a six-week legal limit on elective abortions. This bill is expected to pass the Florida House of Representatives and be signed into law by Governor Ron DeSantis. It will be a important step by state legislatures in protecting unborn lives since the fall of Roe v. Wade.
Sen. Erin Grall, a Republican who sponsored the bill, stated, “Bodily autonomy should not give a person the permission to kill an innocent human being. We live in a time where the consequences of our actions are an afterthought and convenience has been substitution for responsibility, and this is unacceptable when it comes to the protection of the most vulnerable.”
The six-week abortion limit in Florida would be similar to the neighboring state of Georgia, where Governor Brian Kemp signed a similar bill into law. Florida’s bill would also allow exceptions for cases of rape, incest, human trafficking, and fatal fetal abnormality, allowing abortion until the start of the third trimester of pregnancy.
In addition to the six-week limit, the Florida proposal also includes a provision that would require drugs used in medication-induced abortions to be dispensed in person by a physician. Governor DeSantis has called the rape and incest provisions sensible, indicating his support for the bill.
The reduction of Florida’s abortion limit from 15 weeks to six weeks is a significant advancement in protecting the lives of unborn human beings. While only a small percentage of abortions are performed later than 15 weeks, two-thirds of all abortions are performed later than six weeks. This bill aims to reduce the number of abortions performed and protect the rights of the unborn.