Florida GOP Bill Proposes ‘Cruel and Dangerous’ 15-Week Abortion Ban

A new bill introduced Tuesday, which allows no exceptions in cases of incest or rape, "would eliminate any bodily autonomy for many women," warned one Democratic state senator.

By Brett Wilkins | 12 January 2022
Common Dreams

(Credit: YouTube / screengrab)

Progressives on Wednesday condemned a bill introduced in Florida’s GOP-controlled Legislature that would ban abortions after 15 weeks—with no exceptions for incest or rape—as the latest salvo in Republicans’ nationwide attack on reproductive rights.

Critics say S.B. 146—filed at the start of the 2022 legislative session by state Sen. Kelli Stargel (R-22)— mimics draconian anti-choice laws passed in states including Texas and Mississippi.

Florida Gov. Ron De Santis, a Republican who touts his state as “freedom’s vanguard,” said he supports a 15-week abortion ban, which he called “very reasonable.”

“There is nothing ‘reasonable’ with controlling decisions about my pregnancy,” Florida state Rep. Anna V. Eskamani (D-47) fired back on Twitter.

“I want folks to know, any new restriction on abortion is extreme,” Eskamani asserted, according to WPTV. “The fact that there are those out there trying to make 15 weeks look moderate is complete trash.”

The reproductive rights advocacy group Florida Planned Parenthood Action tweeted that “the governor’s stance on abortion, not to mention healthcare policy in general, is inconsistent, frustrating, and dangerous for the people of Florida.”

“There is nothing ‘reasonable’ about a ban on safe and necessary medical care,” the group added.

Florida state Sen. Gary Farmer (D-34) noted that “a 2017 survey found that women had to wait nearly eight weeks to get an appointment with an obstetrician in Miami,” and that “many women don’t even know they are pregnant until seven weeks.”

“This means that Florida’s proposed 15-week abortion ban would eliminate any bodily autonomy for many women,” he warned.

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal called S.B. 146 “cruel, dangerous, and totally unacceptable.”

“We can’t trust Donald Trump’s Supreme Court to uphold the constitutional right to have an abortion,” she said, referring to the former president’s appointment of three anti-choice justices to the nation’s highest court.

Last month, after upholding S.B. 8, a Texas law banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy with no exceptions for incest or rape—and empowering vigilante enforcement—the Supreme Court heard arguments in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization. That case, which involves Mississippi’s law, “will decide the fate of abortion rights in the U.S,” according to the Center for Reproductive Rights.

Faced with the prospect of a historic rights rollback by the Supreme Court’s right-wing supermajority, Democrat-led states from Vermont to California are taking proactive steps to safeguard reproductive rights.

Advocates are also pressuring the U.S. Senate to codify Roe at the federal level by passing the House-approved Women’s Health Protection Act, which could require reforming or abolishing the filibuster given opposition from not only Republicans but also anti-choice Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin (W.Va.) and Bob Casey (Pa.)

“It’s time to end the filibuster,” Jayapal said Wednesday, “and pass the Women’s Health Protection Act.”

An in-depth look at the Florida abortion bill

Extent of Texas Abortion Bill Causing Fear, Confusion In Patients Seeking Help

How a Mississippi abortion law could overturn Roe v. Wade

Supreme Court Appears Poised To Overturn Roe v. Wade

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