Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a 15-week abortion ban on Thursday, setting up a battle with state and national Democrats.
“This is a time where these babies have beating hearts,” DeSantis said at the signing ceremony, according to the Washington Examiner.
“They can move. They can taste. They can see. They can feel pain. They can suck their thumbs, and they have brain waves.”
He also used the occasion to lambast Hollywood liberals and pro-abortion absolutists.
“They are taking the position that babies can be aborted up to the ninth month,” DeSantis said.
“What they would say is, ‘parent holding that child, if you just go back a day or two, then you would have been able to snuff the child out entirely.'”
“That is just fundamentally wrong, that is infanticide, and that has no place.”
The ban will take effect July 1.
DeSantis becomes the latest in a growing number of conservative governors who have signed laws to restrict later-term abortions.
The new law move is critical because, as CBS News noted, “Florida has provided wider access to the procedure than its regional neighbors.”
“The new law, which takes effect July 1, contains exceptions if the abortion is necessary to save a mother’s life, prevent serious injury or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality,” CBS noted.
“It does not allow for exemptions in cases where pregnancies were caused by rape, incest or human trafficking. Under current law, Florida allows abortions up to 24 weeks.”
Much of the law’s impact, however, is dependent on how the Supreme Court decides in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. In that case, an abortion clinic is suing over Mississippi’s ban on abortions later than 15 weeks.
Dobbs is considered the most important abortion case before the Supreme Court in 30 years, since Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1992 established the “undue burden” doctrine, which stated any law which imposes an undue burden on a woman seeking an abortion is unconstitutional.
That case was decided by a court whose makeup was far more liberal than the current 6-3 conservative majority on this court, however — which has set up a potential showdown with Democrats if Casey (or even Roe v. Wade) is overturned in the process.
If Mississippi’s law is upheld, Florida’s will likely be, as well — making Thursday’s bill, which bans abortions after 15 weeks in one of the South’s most populous states, a major step forward in the battle against abortion.
“This will represent the most significant protections for life that have been enacted in this state in a generation,” DeSantis said.