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Tipsheet

Florida Senate Set to Vote on Banning Abortion at 6-Weeks

Ng Han Guan

The Florida Senate is set to vote on banning abortions at six weeks, around the same time the heartbeat can be detected. 

On Tuesday, the Senate Fiscal Policy Committee voted 12 to 7 to approve the bill after hearing testimony from people on both sides of the issue, clearing its first hurdle. 

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The proposal, which was previously a ban at 15 weeks of pregnancy, offers exceptions that include rape or incest, saving the mother's life, or a fatal fetal abnormality in a pregnancy that has not entered the third trimester.

In addition to the 6-week ban, the proposal would require abortion-inducing medication to be provided in person by physicians and not through the mail. The bill would also prevent the procedure from being provided through Telehealth. 

Sen. Erin Grall (R-Vero Beach), who is sponsoring the bill, advocated protecting the lives of unborn babies. 

"We are here to have the conversation about what Florida wants to stand for," Grall said. "Does Florida want to promote a culture of life — where all life is important?"

Sen. Jim Boyd (R-Bradenton) also praised the bill saying, "I believe in the sanctity of life, and I believe that when we're elected to these positions, that's one of our greatest charges, is to protect life."

However, critics of the bill feel differently, arguing that it would affect minorities and low-income women. 

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"Whatever we do here today, abortions are still going to happen," Sen. Shevrin Jones (D-Miami Gardens) said. "Whether legally or illegally and dangerous, abortions will still happen."

Another Democrat who opposed the bill claimed it would take away "free will" and a so-called "right" to terminate a healthy baby. 

Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla) has repeatedly indicated that he will sign additional pro-life legislation saying, "I urge the legislature to work, produce good stuff, and we will sign," adding that it is "what I've always wanted to do."

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