Florida Six-week Abortion Ban Takes Effect

(ReliableNews.org) – Abortion providers in the Sunshine State performed more than 84,000 procedures in 2023. Over 9,000 of those abortions were for women who lived in other Southern states. Those days are now over.

On May 1, a six-week abortion ban took effect in Florida. Historically, the vast majority, 60%, of women seeking an abortion in that state have done so after the six-week mark. That’s because most women don’t know they are pregnant before that.

Florida was once seen as a safe place for women who wanted to terminate their pregnancies. It wasn’t until 2022 that the state passed a 15-week ban. Before that, it was legal up to the point of viability. That changed after the US Supreme Court reversed abortion protections in 2022 with its Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling. Governor Ron DeSantis (R) quickly moved to crack down on the procedure.

The Florida Supreme Court allowed the 15-week ban to go into effect in a ruling last month. The court upended previous precedent that held abortions were protected by a right to privacy clause in the state constitution. The ruling paved the way for the six-week ban to go into effect.

The abortion fight is now headed to the general election ballot. In November, Florida voters will decide whether to enshrine the procedure into the state constitution. The measure would protect the procedure up to the point of viability, which medical experts put at about 24 weeks.

The amendment will have to receive 60% of the vote to pass. That could be hard to do in a state that has grown increasingly more Republican in recent years. While the ballot initiatives have passed in every other state they’ve been on the ballot in, it only passed by 56% in Ohio.

Early polling in Florida shows voters are still undecided. It could be bolstered by a recreational marijuana initiative that will also be on the ballot. Still, experts agree pro-abortion activists are fighting an uphill battle.

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