TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WFLA) — A bill filed in the Florida Senate on Friday aims to protect people who get abortions from criminal penalties.

In a news release, Senate Minority Leader Lauren Book said she filed SB-34 in response to a recent claim by Gov. Ron DeSantis that only medical professionals involved with abortions would be prosecuted.

Florida’s six-week abortion ban, which is currently blocked by a lawsuit, would allow the state to seek felony charges against “any person who willfully performs or actively participates in a termination of pregnancy.”

In a CBS interview on Wednesday, DeSantis said he does “absolutely not” support criminalizing abortion for women and that it “will not happen in Florida.”

“We have no criminal penalty,” he said. “The penalties are for the physician.”

Book’s “glitch bill” seeks to clarify the current law, which is described in the release as a “cruel and dangerous ban.” It adds to the statute, stating, “this paragraph does not apply to the
pregnant woman who terminates the pregnancy.”

“The imprisonment of women, girls, sexual assault survivors, and their doctors through dangerous abortion bans is cruel and anti-freedom,” Book said in a statement. “The Governor has said ‘that will not happen in Florida’ – but we’re not just going to take his word for it, we’re fighting to ensure it.”

Last week, the Florida Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida v. Florida, which is blocking the more restrictive six-week ban from being enacted. It will only take effect if the Florida Supreme Court upholds the 15-week ban.

In the lawsuit, Planned Parenthood and the plaintiffs argue that the privacy clause, enacted by voters in 1980, shields an individual’s “private life” from “government intrusion,” including the right to abortion. It was cited by justices while blocking an abortion law several years later and has since become the legal precedent.

In briefs filed by the state and pro-life organizations, the respondents argue a more narrow view of the privacy clause, claiming that it only protects a person’s information from being accessed or viewed by the government. They also claim that “the questions raised by abortion are not judicial questions,” and it should be left to the reliably conservative legislative branch to decide.

If justices decide the privacy clause does not apply to abortion, the six-week ban would go into effect 30 days after their ruling.