Florida’s 6-week abortion ban may affect future of abortion rights

By Mikayla Silcox

Elm Staff Writer

Ron DeSantis, Florida governor and 2024 presidential candidate, is backing the advancing bill passed by the Senate, which would ban abortions after six-weeks in Florida.

The motion for the “Heartbeat Protection Act” won in the Senate, with a concerning vote of 26-13.

After the Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade in June 2022, Florida became a state of hope and safety in the midst of close states like Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, where abortions are almost entirely illegal, according to AP News. Now, Florida joins the coalition of states where the livelihood of the unborn surpasses the rights of citizens the government should be working to protect.

“We live in a time where the consequences of our actions are an afterthought and convenience has been substituted for responsibility, and this is unacceptable when it comes to the protection of the most vulnerable,” Florida state senator and sponsor of the bill Erin Grall said.

If children are the most vulnerable, then where is the protection for foster kids? According to the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System, as of 2021, a sum of 391,098 children are still in need of a home and require more dire attention.

The University of California San Francisco’s Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health research states that one in three people discover pregnancy at six weeks or later, with one in five discovering pregnancy past seven weeks.

Women do not wait to get abortions later in their term out of spite, but rather due to outstanding circumstances like the inability to tell if they are pregnant in a timely manner.

The struggle to recognize pregnancy in enough time alongside the six-week abortion ban will particularly target young people, people of color, and people living with food insecurity, according to ANSIRH.

While bill supporters like senator Grall feel as if people need to accept responsibility and the consequences of “their actions,” unwanted pregnancies are still going to occur.

Many women who want abortions are taking a responsible route, given the circumstance. The choice to go through an abortion is not an easy out – rather a necessity for the continuation of the life of the mother and the protection from giving an unborn kid an unnecessarily difficult life.

According to Planned Parenthood, abortions can cost anywhere from $800 to $2000, a fee that impedes enough of a warning, so that abortions are not a simple and unthought solution.

The proposal does enact exceptions for abortions that would save the life of the pregnant person or pregnancy consequent to incest or rape until 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The problem with this, however, is the requirement of documentation like a medical record, a restraining order, or a police report.

This requirement would force people to go to the police with instances of sexual assault, which they may not feel comfortable doing when it comes to their mental health or safety.

Abortions protect women, and Florida’s six-week abortion ban puts women at risk.

This proposal, which is close to being passed, could be a warning to the future of abortion in the United States.

With DeSantis’s support for a bill like this and his goals to run for the 2024 presidential election, the consideration of women as citizens who deserve to be protected in future politics is in danger.

Having a president who does not support abortion means the United States may not have a president who supports women at all.

Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Photo Caption: Florida governor Ron DeSantis is one of the main supporters of the six-week abortion ban.

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