On Monday, Vice President Kamala Harris denounced the Republican-led state legislature’s decision to essentially outlaw all abortions in Florida beyond the sixth week of pregnancy. According to Harris, the proposed legislation—which is certain to pass—would harm Florida women and have effects that go far beyond the boundaries of the state.
Harris reiterated a key criticism of the proposal made by Democratic lawmakers in the state of Florida during a telephone press conference. Many women don’t even realize they’re pregnant until six weeks have passed.
The four million women of reproductive age she said to dwell in Florida would not be the only ones impacted by the legislation, according to the vice president. Harris raised the issue of a Texas court case in which pro-lifers are requesting a federal court decision to ban the sale of mifepristone, one of two drugs used in medication abortions.
The lawsuit contends that the drug’s approval by the Food and Drug Administration many years ago was defective. The lawsuit was filed in Amarillo, Texas, effectively ensuring that a conservative judge would hear the case. Florida and all other states would be impacted.
Florida Prohibits Abortion
A law approved last year in Florida that forbids the majority of abortions beyond 15 weeks of pregnancy is currently being challenged in the state’s Supreme Court.
According to data from the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, more than 82,000 abortions were carried out in Florida in 2022, an increase of 7,000 over the previous year. Providers of abortions attributed some of that rise to people traveling from other states to get abortions.
As reported by AHCA, the number of out-of-state residents having abortions in Florida increased from around 4,000 in 2020 to about 6,700 in 2022. The bill’s author, Sen. Erin Grall, claimed that the ban on abortion will safeguard the lives of the unborn and turn Florida into a beacon of hope for people who recognize that life is sacred and must be protected.
Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is rumored to be running for president in the Republican Party, has indicated he supports “pro-life legislation,” but he hasn’t said outright that he would sign it. If the victim presents a police report, medical record, restraining order, or court document as proof of the offense, Florida law contains exceptions for rape and incest.
There are other exemptions for the mother’s life. If a “fatal fetal anomaly” is found and the pregnancy has not entered the third trimester, abortion would be permitted. After 15 weeks of pregnancy, there will be no exceptions for rape or incest. According to the most recent plan, doctors could only personally give abortion medications.