Florida law prohibiting abortion after 6 weeks gestation goes into effect


(OSV News) — A law prohibiting elective abortions after six weeks of pregnancy went into effect May 1 in Florida, as that state also faces a ballot measure on abortion in November.

In April, the Florida Supreme Court simultaneously upheld that its state Constitution does not protect abortion access while also allowing a proposed amendment seeking to add such protections to that document to qualify for the Sunshine State’s November ballot.

The Florida high court upheld the state’s 15-week ban on abortion April 1, which also in effect allowed the state to enforce a six-week ban known as the Heartbeat Protection Act, which was signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in April 2023 and was on pause pending the ruling. The latter went into effect May 1.

Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of SBA Pro-Life America, said in a statement the law is “an enormous victory for women and children, set to protect 50,000 lives a year starting today, while it has already expanded critical support for Florida’s life-affirming safety net.”

“These and other protections that the people of Florida greatly desire must be preserved from Big Abortion’s deceptive amendment to enshrine no-limits abortion in the state constitution,” she said.

Vice President Kamala Harris pointed to former President Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, as responsible for the ban, and made remarks critical of both the new legislation and the former president. During his third bid for the White House, Trump announced that abortion should be left to the states to legislate.

When DeSantis, a Catholic, signed the bill last year, prior to his failed presidential run, he said he was “proud to support life and family in the state of Florida.”

Dannenfelser praised DeSantis as “right” for signing the law in her May 1 statement.

“The abortion amendment which would allow abortion throughout the second and third trimesters, eviscerate health protections for women, and remove parental consent is far too extreme for Florida,” she said. “We must sound the alarm about the far-reaching implications of the abortion industry’s scheme to grow their profits at the expense of babies’ lives and the safety of women and girls.”

The Catholic Church teaches that all human life is sacred from conception to natural death, opposing direct abortion as an act of violence that takes the life of the unborn child.

After the Dobbs decision, Church officials in the U.S. have reiterated the Church’s concern for both mother and child, and called to strengthen available support for those living in poverty or other causes that can push women toward having an abortion.


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