The Republican-led Senate on Thursday passed final legislation to a bill banning abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, bringing the state one step closer to adopting the pregnancy limit currently under way. US Supreme Court review.
The state’s House of Representatives, which also has a Republican majority, passed the measure last month by a partisan vote. Governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, is expected to sign it into law.
Enactment of the bill would dramatically reduce access to late abortion for women across the Southeast US, many of whom have to travel hundreds of miles to end their pregnancies in Florida because of abortion laws. pregnancy is stricter than in the surrounding states.
The state now allows abortions for up to 24 weeks of pregnancy with no mandatory waiting period, meaning a woman can terminate her pregnancy on the day she visits the clinic.
Florida’s measure, which goes into effect July 1, applies only an exception to the 15-week limit in cases where the mother is at risk of death or “irreversible physical impairment,” or if the pregnancy children with fatal malformations.
In a session on Wednesday, Republicans defeated an amendment that would have made exceptions for rape, incest and human trafficking.
(Reporting by Gabriella Borter; Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Aurora Ellis and Jacqueline Wong)