(RepublicanNews.org) – One chamber of the Florida legislature has passed a bill banning abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, and it looks set to sail through the other.
The Florida Senate passed SB 300, the Heartbeat Protection Act, on April 3rd. Since the Republicans have a supermajority in the legislature and Republican Governor Ron DeSantis supports the bill, it seems certain to become law.
Pro-abortion protestors posted photos of themselves being handcuffed by the police in Tallahassee. City police said Tallahassee has tried to accommodate the protestors, but told demonstrators last week that they could not camp overnight.
Among those arrested were Nikki Fried, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, and Senate Minority Leader Democrat Lauren Brook.
The Tallahassee Police Department said they’d given protestors “multiple warnings throughout the day” that anyone who didn’t leave the Capitol area at sundown would be arrested. Most dispersed, the department said, but 11 people refused to leave and were therefore arrested.
The department also said it supports “non-disruptive” demonstrations and the First Amendment right to peaceably assemble.
Opponents of the bill say the Heartbeat Protection Act “disproportionately” affects poor and non-white women. Democratic state Senator Tracie Davis said that no woman should be ashamed to have an abortion.
Bill sponsor Erin Grall, a Republican, said the issue of bodily autonomy doesn’t give a person “permission to kill an innocent human being.”
The Florida bill does allow exceptions to save the life of the mother, and in cases of rape and incest (but only up to 15 weeks in rape and incest cases). It would also require a woman seeking an abortion under those conditions to provide documentation such as a medical record, a restraining order, or a police report.
Current court cases complicate the legislation. Current Florida law also bans abortion after 15 weeks, but the law is being disputed right now before the state Supreme Court. SB 300 would only take effect if the court upholds the current law.
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