TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Republican lawmakers in Florida have filed bills that, if enacted, would ban abortions in the state as early as six weeks into a pregnancy— before many women know they are pregnant.
SB 300 and HB 7, both dubbed “Pregnancy and Parenting Support,” were filed Tuesday by State Sen. Erin Grall (R-Vero Beach) and state Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka (R-Fort Myers) and would ban abortions “after the gestational age of the fetus is determined to be more than six weeks.”
The bills includes exceptions for rape, incest up to 15 weeks of pregnancy, and also exceptions for medical emergencies where the procedure is necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life or prevent serious injury.
The bill would also ban the mailing of drugs that can be used for abortions, requiring doctors to dispense the medication in person. Doctors would be barred from using telehealth to
perform abortions. They would also be required to report incidents of rape or incest involving minors to an abuse hotline.
Grall sponsored the state’s current 15-week abortion ban, which is being challenged in court.
The court battle comes after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, allowing states to restrict abortion access.
Currently, abortions in Florida are legal until the 15th week of gestation, with exceptions for medical emergencies. The law does not allow exemptions for incidents of rape or incest.
Violators could be subject to a third-degree felony, which is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Last month, DeSantis vowed to sign a six-week abortion ban into law if lawmakers approve the measure.
State Rep. Anna V. Eskamani (D-Orlando) condemned the bills in a statement shared with WFLA.
“Florida Republicans have once again demonstrated a complete disregard for the women of our state and for our collective freedoms. As we’ve already seen in other states, a six week ban is extreme, dangerous, and will force millions of people out of state to seek care and others will be forced into pregnancy. Most people do not even know they are pregnant until after six weeks, so this six week ban might as well be a complete ban,” Eskamani said.