With a vote of 23-15, Florida's Republican-controlled Senate passed a bill on Thursday night that prohibits women from getting abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, with no exceptions for victims of rape, incest, or human trafficking. The state's present law restricts abortions after 24 weeks.
The bill, H.B. 5, passed two weeks after the Florida House approved an identical measure. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has indicated he will sign the bill. It is expected to take effect July 1.
Florida Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book tearfully spoke to her colleagues about being drugged and gang raped when she was a teenager, and called on Republicans to add exemptions for victims of rape, incest, and human trafficking, Politico reports. After the vote, Book said those who support reproductive rights will continue their work, adding, "We may not win this battle, but the women of Florida are not done with this fight. This is the beginning, not the end."
With this measure, which follows Mississippi's abortion law, Florida becomes the latest state to erode protections granted under Roe v Wade. Mississippi's law has made its way to the Supreme Court, and a decision is expected over the summer.