TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The “Heartbeat Protection Act” reduces Florida’s 15-week abortion ban to six weeks.
Dozens filled the Capitol to protest the bill. Republicans and Democrats sparred over it for hours.
“This is not reasonable because it amounts to an outright ban” State Rep. Fentrice Driskell said.
“Here we value life from conception to casket.” State Rep. Chase Tramont said.
Protestors spent the week outside the capitol at Leon County Courthouse. On Thursday, they brought their fight inside. Emotions ran high as protestors shouted outside the House chamber.
But despite the objections and a few Republican defections, the bill reducing the state’s current 15 week ban to six weeks passed with 70 yays and 30 nays.
“Whether you agree with 6 weeks or 8 weeks or 10 weeks it does at least reflect the democratic process,” said State Rep. Paul Renner.
There are exceptions including rape incest and human trafficking up to 15 weeks and fatal fetal conditions that go beyond 15 weeks.
The governor gets the bill next, and if he signs it into law, Florida would soon become one of the most restrictive states on abortion in the nation.
However, the case in the Florida Supreme Court against the 15-week ban argues that the court should uphold previous rulings on the privacy clause in the Florida Constitution protecting abortion rights. The six-week ban would only take effect if the FLSC upholds the 15-week ban or if the justices decide the privacy clause does not apply to abortion rights, the six-week ban would go into effect 30 days after that ruling.