TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — The signing of the 6-week abortion ban is still having ripple effects at the Florida Capitol.
On Monday, a new coalition of religious leaders and lawmakers vowed to continue the fight for abortion access in Florida, despite the 6-week ban already clearing the legislature and getting the governor’s signature.
Pending a legal challenge before the Florida Supreme Court, the new law would ban abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, instead of 15.
The group that gathered in protest Monday says lawmakers are trying to push one religious viewpoint.
“We believe that healthcare including abortion care should be free from social, political and religious shame.” Od’ Juan Whitfield of Faith in Public Life Action said
However, the bill’s sponsor says religion isn’t a factor.
“This bill is not based on any religious beliefs and the bill refers to the termination of human pregnancies,” Rep. Persons -Mulicka said.
The ”Heartbeat Protection Act” reduces Florida’s current 15-week ban to six weeks, something the House Speaker says reflects where most Florida voters land on the issue
“People of good faith can disagree on where this line should be drawn. They shouldn’t disagree that this is reflective of the democratic process.” Rep. Paul Renner said.
Despite DeSantis’ signature, the fate of this six-week ban is in the hands of the state’s Supreme Court. The justices’ decision hinges on whether abortion rights are protected under a privacy clause in Florida’s constitution.
Representative Anna Eskamni has little faith that the Supreme Court will rule out the 15-week ban
“When it comes to the Supreme Court I do not have optimism at all, candidly.” Rep. Eskamani said.
If the court does rule in favor of the previous abortion ban, then the new 6-week ban would go into effect. Until we have one, the 15-week abortion ban remains the law in Florida.
Attorneys for the case have a May 1 deadline to file briefs. Beyond that, it could be months before there is any movement.