The law doesn’t make exceptions in cases of rape or incest. However, it does allow for exemptions in cases where the pregnancy presents a “serious risk” to the mother’s health, or a fatal fetal abnormality is detected and confirmed by two physicians in writing.
The news makes Florida the latest Republican-led state to enact abortion restrictions. The Kentucky General Assembly overrode Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto on an abortion bill Wednesday. The two remaining abortion clinics in the Bluegrass State have shuttered their doors for the time being. Pro-choice groups have already filed two lawsuits challenging the law. The day before, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill making abortions illegal, except in cases of medical emergencies.
Meanwhile, the latest statistics show Florida had over 71,000 abortions in 2019. That equates to 18.5 per 1,000 female residents — the third-highest rate in the Union.
Fox News further reports:
DeSantis emphasized that the legislation is not the only aspect of his pro-life agenda, adding that the bill also allocates funds to increase the number of infant mortality review boards across Florida.
“If you’re looking at what we’ve done this week, we’re promoting fatherhood in Florida,” DeSantis said. “We want our kids to have dads in the home. We want the fathers present and to take responsibility. It’s the most important thing you can do is to take responsibility for the upbringing of your kids.”
DeSantis was joined by numerous pro-life activists at the bill signing event. Some of the activists shared stories of abortions they regretted, others of adopting children who had survived abortion attempts.
“There are two types of people that have led me to speak up,” said Heather Grall-Barwick, who said she had an abortion when she was 21. “The women who say that abortion does not cause mental distress, and the women in their 70s who had abortions and testified that just now they’re able to speak about them and the regret that they have felt for over 40 years.”
The new law will go into effect on July 1.