Speed Reads

Abortion Fights

Ron DeSantis signs 6-week abortion ban in Florida

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a six-week abortion ban on Thursday, soon after it was finalized in a party-line vote in the Republican-dominated Florida House. The new law would ban most abortions at six weeks into a pregnancy, when many women do not know they are pregnant, if the conservative-majority state Supreme Court upholds Florida's pending 15-week abortion ban. 

There are exceptions for if the pregnant woman's life is at stake, and women who got pregnant through rape or incest — and have police reports or other documents to prove it — would be allowed to terminate the pregnancy up to 15 weeks. Women seeking medication abortion would need to get the pills in person or from a physician, assuming a federal court ruling seeking to bar mifepristone is ultimately struck down

Democrats hold no statewide power in Florida, and so were able only to protest and try to delay passage of the law. The new law would greatly restrict abortion not only in Florida but also in surrounding states, where women seeking abortions would travel to Florida to get around near-total abortion bans.

DeSantis is widely expected to jump into the 2024 GOP presidential race after the state legislative session wraps up in May, and he is "banking on support in the primary from anti-abortion voters, particularly those angry at Donald Trump" over his complaint "that the party's far-right position on abortion hurt the GOP in last year's midterm election," Politico reports. "But a six-week ban pushes the outer boundary of anti-abortion rights proposals. And it could spell trouble for DeSantis among independents and suburban voters in a general election, if he makes it that far."