Florida Senate Passes 15-Week Abortion Ban

The process was fraught with emotional protests from both sides of the issue.

By Giselle Balido

March 4, 2022

More than a dozen amendments proposed by Democrats, including one that would provide an exception for rape and incest, failed to pass.

On Thursday, the Florida Senate, which has a Republican majority, voted 23 to 15 along party lines to pass House Bill 5, a controversial measure banning most abortions after 15 weeks. The legislation shortens the time period during which a person can receive an abortion in Florida, which was previously within up to 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the measure into law, which would take effect July 1, 2022.

“Governor DeSantis is pro-life and has voiced support for the concepts in this bill,” DeSantis’ spokesperson, Christina Pushaw, said earlier in the day.

This brings the state one step closer to adopting a gestational limit currently under review by the US Supreme Court. Democrats, who fear for the fate of Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion nationwide, were quick to voice their opposition, calling it “a direct assault on the people of Florida and our constitutional rights.”

Republicans were quick to counter the Democrats’ arguments. “These are children,” said the bill’s Senate sponsor, Kelli Stargel, Lakeland. “If we’re not going to protect them, who will? And if not our laws, then what?”

Democrat Amendments Failed to Pass

The bill would only allow exceptions involving serious risk to the pregnant person, such as death or “irreversible physical impairment,” or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality.

Republican lawmakers voted against allowing abortions after 15 weeks in cases of rape, incest, or human trafficking. In fact, more than a dozen amendments proposed by Democrats, including the one that would provide an exception for rape and incest, failed to pass.

“The fact that we will not make an exception for incest and rape is unconscionable to me. I have two girls,” said state Sen. Randolph Bracy, a Democrat.

With this development, Florida joins West Virginia and Arizona as conservative-led states advancing a 15-week abortion ban bill this session. It comes as the Supreme Court is set to rule on Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban, which Florida’s legislation was modeled after.

Once DeSantis signs the bill the battle against it will head to state and federal courts.



  • Giselle Balido

    Giselle is Floricua's political correspondent. She writes about the economy, environmental and social justice, and all things Latino. A published author, Giselle was born in Havana and grew up in New Jersey and Miami. She is passionate about equality, books, and cats.



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