Florida Republicans file extreme 6-week abortion ban proposal

‘A few dozen extremist politicians in Tallahassee who have never had to experience this situation, and who never will.’

Marchers on Orlando's Church Street during the January 2023 rally marking the 50-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade. - Photo by Matt Keller Lehman
Photo by Matt Keller Lehman
Marchers on Orlando's Church Street during the January 2023 rally marking the 50-year anniversary of Roe v. Wade.

On the first day of Florida's legislative session, state Republicans have filed a bill banning abortion after six weeks that is likely to become law.

The bills (SB 300 and HB 7), filed Tuesday by Sen. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, and Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka, R-Fort Myers, would further restrict the state's current 15-week ban on abortions, which was passed less than eight months ago.

The new ban would  make abortion illegal after six weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for rape and incest — but only up until 15 weeks.

For many people who menstruate, six weeks of pregnancy may look like a period that's only a week or two late.

A late period is not considered a missed period until after six weeks without bleeding, according to Healthline. That would be too late for an abortion under this proposed law.

The bills were filed just minutes before Gov. DeSantis delivered his annual state of the state address.

Without directly mentioning the six-week ban bills, Republican Speaker Paul Renner alluded to pro-life ideals during remarks to the House while opening Tuesday's session, News Service of Florida reports.

“Our ability to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness began with life,” Renner said. “We must defend the right to life for thousands of boys and girls who deserve to experience life, find love and enrich the lives of others.”

Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando and a previous employee and patient of Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, released a statement condemning the abortion care restrictions. 

"As we’ve already seen in other states, a six-week ban is extreme, dangerous, and will force millions of people out of the state to seek care, and others will be forced into pregnancy," Eskamani said in the statement.

"Most people do not even know they are pregnant until after six weeks, so this six-week ban might as well be a complete ban."

With Florida's Republican supermajority, the bills are very likely to pass through the legislature and become law. Florida would join Georgia as the only other state with a six-week ban. Abortion is currently banned outright in 13 states.

The bills come as Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gears up for a 2024 presidential run. He is said to be padding his anti-choice record with the legislation.

"Their [patients'] lives are at risk because of the misplaced priorities of a few dozen extremist politicians in Tallahassee who have never had to experience the situation they’re facing, and who never will," PPSWCF Chief Medical Officer Robyn Schickler said in a statement.

Florida Republicans have been expected to make moves toward stricter statewide abortion laws after the Supreme Court repealed federal abortion protections last year.

Just last week, state Rep. Rita Harris, D-Orlando, filed legislation that would codify the right to abortion access in state law, establishing reproductive healthcare access as a fundamental right for Floridians.

While opponents of last year's 15-week ban in Florida have worked to fight the law, which has been challenged in court, Gov. DeSantis and state Republicans have made clear they feel the current bans on abortion care do not go far enough.

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Chloe Greenberg

Chloe Greenberg is the Digital Content Editor for Orlando Weekly.
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