MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Reaction has been fast and furious to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signing of an abortion bill that sets a 15-week limit with few exceptions.
“This law is a despicable and disgusting assault on women. It’s an insult to our dignity and our ability to make these deeply personal decisions about our own lives, and it will have a devastating impact on the physical and emotional health of women across Florida. The hypocrisy of Republicans who love to brag about how ‘free’ our state is while pushing a law that will literally force women and girls to give birth is absolutely outrageous. This law is a direct attack on women’s constitutional rights, and it’s cruel, extreme, and inhumane,” said state Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried in a statement.READ MORE: Florida Tourism Thriving Ahead Of Memorial Day Weekend
Fried, who is challenging DeSantis for the governor’s job in November, said many women don’t know if they are pregnant before 15 weeks. She said 15 weeks into pregnancy is generally the earliest that doctors can safely perform amniocentesis, which is the test done to determine if a fetal abnormality or health condition exists.
Under current law, Florida allows abortions up to 24 weeks.
Republicans lawmakers applauded the measure as a way to save the most vulnerable.
“Life is precious and children are a God-given gift,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “That is why House Bill 5 is so important, as it provides added protection for the unborn child.”
“Every abortion kills a special and unique human being who deserves protection under the laws of this state and the chance to grow up in a loving family,” said Senate President Wilton Simpson. “As an adopted child in a family that took in foster children, it has always been important to me that our state do everything we can to promote adoption as an alternative to abortion.
“This bill safeguards innocent, unborn children with beating hearts, who can move, taste, see, feel pain, and whose lives should be protected under the laws of this state,” said RepublicanSenator Kelli Stargel.READ MORE: Redistricting Wrangling Goes To Florida Supreme Court
Fried also took Republican lawmakers to task for limiting when abortions will be allowed.
“Republicans in the Legislature voted multiple times against including exceptions in the bill for survivors of rape, incest, or human trafficking,” she said in the statement.
The new law does provide exceptions if the abortion is necessary to save a mother’s life, prevent serious injury or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality.
“Governor DeSantis has just signed into law an extreme bill that was made even crueler by the rejections to provide exemptions for victims of rape, human trafficking, and incest. The government has no business making decisions that should be made by a woman in consultation with their doctor and their family,” said Den. Annette Tadeo. “The conservative values of freedom and limited government that the Governor claims to fight for, have gone right out the window when it comes to a woman’s choice about her own body. Our state is worse off for it.”
“Florida’s new abortion law is a cruel measure that strips women and girls of our constitutional right to reproductive health care — with no exceptions for rape or incest. This law will have a catastrophic impact for millions of women and their families. This is shameful,” Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine posted on Twitter.
In signing the law, Florida joins a growing conservative push ahead of a U.S. Supreme Court decision that could limit access nationwide.
“Across the country, extremists in state legislatures are passing abortion bans to put up more barriers for those seeking reproductive healthcare as part of their coordinated assault on millions of already marginalized and vulnerable Americans. We and our allies will continue fighting these harmful bills because ALL of our fundamental rights are on the line,” said state Senator Shevrin Jones, who is a member of the Health Policy Committee.MORE NEWS: NOAA: 'Above Average' 2022 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Predicts 6-10 Hurricanes
The new law takes effect July 1st.