The Republican bill that is about to pass late Thursday in the state of Florida, which will ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, is expected to be signed without much waiting by Governor Ron DeSantis.
One of the most anticipated moments for pro-lifers will see the light of day Thursday during the legislative session, after the state House of Representatives, also with a Republican majority, approved it last month.
On Wednesday, after several hours of debate, Republican senators had rejected a series of amendments proposed by Democrats, which aimed at the exception in the case of pregnancies resulting from rape, incest and human trafficking.
State Sen. Kelli Stargel, who promoted the 15-week bill, said she rejected the premise that a “child should be killed because of the circumstances in which it was conceived” in reference to the rape exception suggested by Democrats.
In the House and Senate, Democrats have questioned whether fetuses can feel pain at 15 weeks. On this, Senator Stargel indicated that there is sufficient evidence to indicate that fetuses are capable of feeling pain at that point and gave this as one of the reasons she advocates for the proposal.
The new legislation, which will go into effect on July 1, will replace the current one, which allows abortion up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Exceptions to the 15-week measure will only be made in cases where there is a risk to the mother’s life or “irreversible physical deterioration” or in cases where the fetus has a fatal anomaly, according to Reuters.
If senators approve the bill, Governor Ron DeSantis, who has supported the measure, is expected to sign it immediately.
Both pro-lifers and abortion advocates are also closely watching a U.S. Supreme Court case over a Mississippi ruling that could uphold the state’s 15-week abortion restriction and also upend the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which establishes the right to terminate a pregnancy before the fetus is viable, usually around 24 weeks.
The conservative-majority Supreme Court justices heard arguments in the case in December.