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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a 15-week abortion ban into law on Thursday, joining several other Republican states that have imposed similar restrictions on the procedure.

The new law – which will go into effect July 1 – will prohibit abortions past 15 weeks, a dramatic cut from the current limit of 24 weeks. 

It does not allow for exemptions for pregnancies causes by rape, incest or human trafficking. However, it does permit the procedure when an abortion is necessary to save the mother’s life, prevent serious injury or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality. 

Florida’s Republican-led Senate passed the bill early last month in a 23-15 vote. 

“This will represent the most significant protections for life that have been enacted in this state in a generation” DeSantis said Thursday when signing the bill. 

“We believe that all these kids deserve an opportunity,” the governor added. “We’re not just giving lip service to that, we’re actually signing legislation.”

In recent months, several other states have enacted similar orders banning the procedure after a certain number of weeks or criminalizing it all together. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
Florida currently allows abortions up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.
Ron DeSantis/Twitter

On Tuesday, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt signed a bill making it illegal to perform an abortion except in the case of medical emergencies. The order will penalize any provider who does so with up to $100,000 in fines and 10 years in prison. 

On Wednesday, Kentucky’s Republican-led legislature overrode Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear’s veto of a 15-week abortion ban. The bill would require providers to report each procedure to the state and provide information such as the reason for the abortion, the person’s address, age, race, ethnicity and age of their sexual partner, according to Axios. 

Abortion providers in the state, such as Planned Parenthood, have decided not to perform any procedures until the bill is repealed or struck down in court.  

Late last month, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey also approved legislation banning abortions after 15 weeks except in “medical emergencies.”

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
DeSantis claimed the bill represents the “most significant protections for life that have been enacted in this state in a generation.”
Ron DeSantis/Twitter

Republican lawmakers in West Virginia have also proposed legislation barring abortions after 15 weeks, forgoing exceptions for rape and incest. 

In March, Gov. Jim Justice signed into law another bill which bans having the procedure based on the possibility or concern that the fetus may develop a disability such as Down Syndrome. 

Currently, the US Supreme Court is weighing a similar 15-week abortion ban in Mississpi that lower courts ruled unconstitutional. The conservative-led court is anticipated to uphold the law, sparking concerns over the stability of the 1973 ruling of Roe v. Wade

The court is expected to release its ruling in June. Over two dozen states are expected to completely ban or highly restrict abortion if the court decides to overturn Roe, according to the Associated Press.

Some states have gone even a step further by proposing banning abortions after six weeks, which is often earlier than many women know they are pregnant. 

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
The bill passed Florida’s Senate with a vote of 23-15.
Ron DeSantis/Twitter

Texas approved such a ban in September, only allowing exceptions for medical emergencies. 

The measure – which has been highly criticized by abortion providers and activists – allows private citizens to encforce the law, rather than rate officials. It authorizes lawsuits with a potential reward of up to $10,000 against clinics, doctors and anyone who “aids or abets” an abortion performed after cardiac activity is detected — which typically happens around six weeks into pregnancy.

In December, the Supreme Court ruled that while lawsuits challenging the law could move forward, the legislation would remain in effect. Previously, the court declined to block the law from going into effect in response to an 11th-hour challenge.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little signed a similar bill on March 23, however the order has since been blocked by the state’s Supreme Court. The state has until April 28 to respond.

Source: NYPOST

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