BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. — Gov. Ron DeSantis says he is supportive of the idea of banning abortions in Florida after 15 weeks.
This was after two Republican state lawmakers filed complementary bills Tuesday in both the Florida House and Senate on the first day of the 2022 legislative session.
Asked Wednesday during a press conference in southwest Florida if he would support the bill and sign it into law if passed, DeSantis said:
“I have not seen that particular [bill], but obviously I’m supportive of 15 weeks. I think that’s very reasonable and I think that’s very consistent with being supportive of protecting life. We’ll work with them as they kind of get through that process, but I think that’ll be something that we would be able to sign and I think a lot of people will be very happy with that.”
The legislation, House Bill 5 and Senate Bill 146, states "a physician may not perform a termination of pregnancy if the physician determines the gestational age of the fetus is more than 15 weeks." Both provide exceptions, including if the mother's health is at risk or if "the fetus has a fatal fetal abnormality."
There is no exception for rape or incest.
The bills were introduced respectively by Rep. Erin Grall, R-Vero Beach, and Sen. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland.
Abortion is legal in Florida up to 24 weeks of gestation. It is only allowed beyond that if the pregnancy threatens a woman's life and physical health.
These new bills follow legislation filed in September that was nearly identical to Texas' restrictive abortion law that would make the procedure illegal after a fetal heartbeat is detected, which is generally around six weeks. For many women, that's before they know they're pregnant.
Just like the Texas law, anyone who helps someone get an abortion could be sued. The bill, House Bill 167, had its first reading Tuesday.
Rep. Anna V. Eskamani, D-Orlando, called last fall's bill "extreme anti-abortion legislation" and tweeted Tuesday, "Florida’s 15 week abortion ban has been filed — and of course they’re trying to brand it as NOT being an abortion ban. That’s because Republican members know that abortion bans are extreme and not supported by the majority of our state or country.
"Be ready to fight."