As the 2023 legislative session began Tuesday, Senate and House Republicans proposed measures that seek to prevent abortions after six weeks of pregnancy.
The bills (SB 300 and HB 7), filed by Sen. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, and Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka, R-Fort Myers, came after the Republican-controlled Legislature last year passed a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. The bills also will make abortion one of the most-contentious issues of the 60-day legislative session.
During remarks to the House to open the session, Speaker Paul Renner, R-Palm Coast, alluded to abortion but did not specifically mention the bill.
“Our ability to enjoy life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness began with life,” Renner said in his prepared remarks. “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.”
But Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, issued a statement blasting the proposed six-week limit.
“Florida Republicans have once again demonstrated a complete disregard for the women of our state and for our collective freedoms,” Eskamani said. “As we’ve already seen in other states, a six-week ban is extreme, dangerous and will force millions of people out of state to seek care and others will be forced into pregnancy. 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.”
The Florida Supreme Court in January agreed to take up a constitutional challenge by seven abortion clinics and a doctor to the 15-week abortion limit. A key issue in that case is whether the limit violates a privacy clause in the Florida Constitution that has helped protect abortion rights in the state for more than three decades.
Much of the bills would be contingent on the Supreme Court effectively upholding the 15-week law. For example, they say the six-week limit would take effect with a Supreme Court decision “receding” from legal precedents about abortion or “holding that the right to privacy enshrined in ,,, the State Constitution does not include a right to abortion.”
In addition to the constitutional issues, the 15-week limit has drawn criticism because it does not include exemptions for victims of rape or incest.
The bills would allow abortions up to 15 weeks of pregnancy in cases of rape or incest, but they would require women to present proof that they were victims.
“At the time the woman schedules or arrives for her appointment for a termination of pregnancy, she must provide a copy of a restraining order, police report, medical record, or other court order or documentation proving that she is obtaining the termination of pregnancy because she is a victim of rape or incest,” the House bill says. “If the woman is a minor, the physician must report the incident of rape or incest to the central abuse hotline.”
The Senate version includes the same proof requirements, though with slightly different wording.
During a news conference after his State of the State address, DeSantis called the exceptions “sensible, and we welcome pro-life legislation.”
Senate President Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, said she supports the bill with the exceptions.
“My biggest concern has always been the exception for rape and incest, fetal death and the life of the mother,” Passidomo said. “That is my number one priority, and that’s why I support the bill. It’s in the bill.”
The Supreme Court is not expected to rule until after the legislative session on the 15-week abortion limit. The plaintiffs filed an initial brief in late February, and the state will file its first brief in late March. The plaintiffs then will have 30 days to file what is known as a reply brief.
That would mean it would be late April before all three briefs are filed — and the order indicated the state might have another 30 days to file a “cross-reply” brief. The legislative session is scheduled to end May 5.
–Jim Saunders, Tom Urban, News Service of Florida
David Schaefer says
I wish these stupid Republicans and Desantis would keep their nose out of womans rights . Deathsantis number one comment is Florida is the free state well he is dead wrong.
Fidel Lives In Tallahassee says
Why? Does DeSantis need more unwanted kids for his foster care system? I mean, are those kids now too used for his sex traffickers and pedo friends? It says something about a man that is totally silent on the report that his state run foster care system (and Scott’s as he was Gov before DeSantis), is sex trafficking those kids in hotels, but he doesn’t want you to say gay, he wants a 6-week unreasonable abortion ban w/no exceptions for rape or incest (hmm, wonder why), and his constant attacks on trans kids/people.
I have a theory why we have all these anti-trans legislation going around. You see, since DeSantis pals around with sex traffickers and his foster care system is at the center of some of these accusations, my theory goes as follows. Client A asks for a young boy. Sex Trafficker plucks one out of foster care and delivers to a hotel, only it’s not a gendered boy, it’s a girl. Client A is furious and demands a refund or he will expose sex trafficker and his connections. This happens more times than they like, so enter anti-trans legislation, so there is no guessing what the gendered sex is when procuring a child for sex trafficking.
It’s out there sure, but is it really? When name after name after name is revealed as a sex trafficker or a child rapist, 99/100 they are a priest, a Republican or that own kid’s parent. Knowing that FL is a hotbed for sex trafficking and that Scott and DeSantis haven’t fixed what is happening in the foster care system and the company they keep is suspect, it’s not that outlandish of a theory at all.
Taking away women’s rights, discriminating against people of color rights to vote, discriminating against gay community, fines if journalists write about the Florida Governor, books being banned in schools, what’s next? Should we all wear uniforms once done in concentration camps?
Lynnette Perry says
I am pro-life. That said, some women do need to terminate a pregnancy. Some could have preeclampsia so high that they would die from a stroke or brain bleed and the baby would die anyway. At least the mother could be saved. In some cases, a mom may be in the second stage of pregnancy and find that she has cancer that needs chemo. You cannot have chemo while pregnant. Is the Governor going to go into her room and tell her she has to die, because she is pregnant past 6 weeks? (I doubt it.) I know everyone sees this as either a right or wrong thing, but there are grey areas. Nothing is legislated for these areas where it is necessary. While I do not believe failure to use birth control and irresponsibility are reasons to allow an abortion, neither do I feel it is right to make a 10-year-old rape/incest victim carry a baby to term and give birth. And I feel it is certainly appropriate where the mom could die otherwise not to allow her to terminate the pregnancy, so at least one of the two can live. Where is the common sense on this issue? I see no instances where a room full of women have legislated what any male can do with his health. I would say that women should make this decision for other women. We have been the ones who are pregnant, carry the baby to term and give birth. Women understand these issues better. I feel other women understand that there is a time and a place for all things.
Wow! Women should make this decision for other women. Have you seen the number of women in politics (this state alone) that are ALL FOR these bans? I think only the woman it affects should have the right. It is her body and hers alone.
The same Limp Dick Republicans that say it is O.K. to mail Viagra, don’t believe that abortion pills can be legally put through the U.S. mail !
Cynthia Trent says
This restrictive legislation not only infringes on the reproductive rights of women, but also undermines their autonomy and ability to make decisions about their own bodies. It’s important to ensure that women have access to safe and legal abortion services, and imposing such stringent limits only serves to endanger their health and well-being.
We all have to see this for what it is: The Republicans keep everyone distracted from real issues by keeping the feeding frenzy going on culture issues. Let’s provide vouchers to everyone for “freedom” to go to whatever school you want – typically a religious affiliated school (and let’s not even address the cost of this issue; do you not question Republican commitment to small government and lower taxes?!). Let’s legislate against drag queen shows because God knows that is a huge concern to every Floridian. Let’s cut abortion options to six weeks because we limit “freedom” to men and like-minded women. If you think abortion is sometimes necessary to save the mother’s life or other factors, you’re just out of luck – that freedom doesn’t exist here. Let’s allow anyone and everyone to carry a concealed firearm because in Florida we never have mass shootings (and besides, even though that law wouldn’t prevent mass shootings, why should we even try to stop them? Everybody should carry and gun and we can all shoot each other over road rage, perceived insults or just because we got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Let’s lock up felons for trying to vote even though the only reason they were voting is because the state indicated they were eligible to do so – never mind the cost to the taxpayer or the person arrested. Let’s label anyone who disagrees with our position as “woke” and deride them for having a dissenting opinion because in Florida we have “freedom”. And let’s allow any ignorant person that want to challenge whether books should be in the school library. Freedoms….
Meanwhile, let’s not concern ourselves with the fact that home insurance has sky-rocketed to near unaffordable levels (no one is talking about helping with that pocket-book issue) and the myriad of other issues that truly affect Floridians. And rightfully so, because there is a large number of people in this state that would rather joust at windmills than take on the hard work of governing FOR THE PEOPLE!!!
desantis and renner are running a 3-card Monte game on people who buy t-shirts, ball caps, moronically obscene flags and banners, and other overpriced Made In China dollar store (inflation: the five and dime has become a dollar) kitsch — the price of admission to a “free” event. And then the suckers crowd together like trained seals, so they can be unpaid extras in the pickpockets’ sales campaign ads.
Then thieves of this ilk (almost all of whom have had government health care and public housing, and will collect multiple pensions from the same) get back on the private jet. Next? Who knows — it’s a private jet. It flies above the public. Maybe their next rally, or club with annual dues equal to the price of a nice home, or some island fleshpot to receive spiritual guidance from the television preachers performing missionary work in the missionary position.
And they do all that, so we can be free — to starve.
When I hear the word “retrograde,” I think of Florida.
Please, will some citizens group start an initiative campaign to put a measure on the FL ballot that would ban the sale of Viagra and Cialis to men in this state if voters approve the legislature’s attempt to further restrict a woman’s right to abortion? These old white men sitting up there in Tallahassee seem to love to put onerous restrictions on others… let’s see how they react to such an onerous restriction put on their virility, which by the way, there would be NO pregnancies and therefore no reason to enact all of these ridiculous abortion bans if it were not for the men in society who keep impregnating women in the first place!
It’s not about family planning. The tax incentives for making babies are no coincidence — they’re about family production, and increasing it, literally, by law. There’s not one damn bad idea these characters won’t rebrand and call their own:
Think of George C. Scott’s general in the war room in Dr. Strangelove. If you think about it, desantis, and renner, already sound like characters from Strangelove, most of the time. The Preserving Precious Bodily Fluid Act ought to be hatched any day now.
Instead of all that crap:
What Else Is New says
Governor Mr. Freedom and his Republican legislative sycophants are determined to wrest control of your body, mind and freedoms. Of course it begins with controlling women’s rights. Watch out, guys. Viagra is next. Controlling minds of educators and students leaves no room for professionalism regarding curriculum or books! Floridians have very little freedoms remaining. Watch out, folks. Each government facility in Florida will fly a flag showing sweaty-faced Governor Mr. Freedom with a hammer crushing the very people he represents.
Well God damn, let’s just chop up all children under 3 years. That way no narcissistic woman has to worry about taken care of a little human. Let’s just DROP the population of America by 2 million by abortions to make up for the 2 million illegal terrorist who got thru the Border without being checked. I hear the going rate for fetus cell tissue is up ladies….. you can make lots of money to go along with the “govemt checks”. You ladies will have plenty money for makeup and new hairdo’s. Maybe some rainbow corn rows for you “not so white” women. Who needs babies…their such a pain in the ass to take care of. You got so much more important tnings to do with your life. Because ” I’m a woman ” !!!!!
@Susan, (Christy and Will too)
So, where do you stand on day care for mothers attending Middle School too?
While you’re at it — should the children of unmarried students who have a child with their Sunday School teacher have the teacher’s legal name?
Have a blessed day.