Florida GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis said Wednesday he supports a proposed bill banning abortions after 15 weeks, the latest effort in a Republican-controlled state to pass pro-life legislation.
The state Senate bill introduced by GOP state Sen. Kelli Stargel and state Rep. Erin Grall on Tuesday would prevent physicians from terminating a pregnancy if the baby has reached the 15-week threshold.
"I have not seen that particular one, but obviously I’m supportive of 15 weeks. I mean, I think that’s very reasonable, and I think that’s very consistent with, you know, being supportive of protecting life," DeSantis told reporters during a press conference Wednesday.
"We’ll work with them as they kind of get through that process, but I think that will be something that we’ll be able to sign, and I think a lot of people would be happy with that," he said.
The legislation is similar to a Mississippi’s controversial abortion ban that’s currently before the Supreme Court and also outlaws abortion procedures after 15 weeks.
The bill also follows Texas’ Heartbeat Act passed in September 2021. The measure aims to prevent abortion procedures after a baby’s heartbeat is first detectable by enabling citizens to hold doctors who perform abortions liable.
"I think it’s a very good start, and I think it’s something the committee process will vet out and perhaps be on the floor at some point," Florida state Senate President Wilton Simpson, who endorsed the state bill, said in a Tuesday interview, the Daily Caller reported. "I’ve been pro-life all of my life."
DeSantis has already signaled he’d be open to other pro-life legislative proposals.
"There’s a lot of pro-life legislation. We’re going to be welcoming it. I haven’t looked at every single bill," DeSantis has told reporters, Newsweek reported.
"I think if you look at what’s been done in some of these other states — I mean, when you start talking about 15 weeks where you have really serious pain and heartbeats and all this stuff — having protections I think is something that makes a lot of sense."
The Tuesday remarks came shortly after DeSantis gave his State of the State address, which didn’t call for stricter abortion laws — but did promote adoption and foster care, and asked the state legislature to increase funding for foster parents, Newsweek reported.
Democrats, the minority party in both Florida legislative chambers, said they’ll fiercely oppose the measure.
"We will continue to fight vociferously for a woman’s right to choose and right to healthcare," Senate Democratic leader Lauren Book said on Tuesday.
"We will fight tooth and nail over that bill," added Rep. Evan Jenne, the House minority leader.
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