Florida lawmakers have sent a noxious abortion ban bill to Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is expected to soon sign it into law.
This legislation bans abortions at 15 weeks of gestation except in rare situations. This is a major shift from the state’s current status, permitting abortions until 24 weeks gestation. Florida state Rep. Dana Trabulsky parroted typical religious talking points as an explanation for the ban: “This is the right to life, and to give up life is unconscionable to me.”
This move to prohibit abortions at 15 weeks is a copycat of the Mississippi abortion ban that is pending review by the U.S. Supreme Court. If the conservative-dominated court rules in Mississippi’s favor, Roe v. Wade will effectively be overturned and these cruel 15-week abortion bans will be sustained.
Florida is hardly alone in this anti-woman measure. Other states, such as West Virginia and Arizona, are also attempting to pre-emptively ban abortion ahead of the Supreme Court hearing.
Many anti-abortion groups are pushing incremental bans to, as Florida State Law Professor Mary Ziegler puts it, “test public reaction to states that are still somewhat politically contested.” The author of Abortion and the Law adds, “Fifteen-week bans are a trial balloon to see what voters will tolerate — and they may end up being a step toward more bans on abortion from the moment of fertilization.”
The Florida bill is a prime example of this phenomenon.
“This is why it is so important for FFRF members and the majority of Americans who support Roe v. Wade to do everything they can to protest such experiments on reproductive liberty,” says Annie Laurie Gaylor, FFRF co-president. “It’s essential, especially in contacting known anti-abortion public officials, to protest such legislation. The 15-week bans are only the beginning.”
Abortion access is a fundamental constitutional and human right to bodily autonomy. Politicians, particularly religiously rooted politicians, have no right to dictate if and when someone seeks and receives abortion care.