Gov. Ron DeSantis held a news conference in Osceola County on Thursday, where he signed Florida’s bill banning abortions after 15 weeks into law.
He spoke from Nacion de Fe in Kissimmee, where signs read, “Florida is pro-life.”
“We are here today to defend those that can’t defend themselves,” he said. “It is the most significant protection for life that’s been enacted in this state in a generation.”
DeSantis said being a parent is a big responsibility, but it’s something he “wouldn’t trade for the world.”
“This is a statement of our values, that every life is important,” he said.
The legislation specifically says a doctor may not perform an abortion “if the physician determines the gestational age of the fetus is more than 15 weeks.”
It does not grant exemptions for rape, incest or human trafficking. Exceptions include if the abortion is necessary to save a mother’s life or to prevent serious injury to the mother.
Attendees at the Thursday event praised the governor, calling him “the most pro-life governor in the country.”
Supporters of the bill have said 15 weeks would be enough time to make the decision to receive an abortion.
“Being a parent even when you want your child is fundamentally a sacrifice. But it is a privilege. It is a gift that God has given us all. It is the highest gift that he can give us,” Rep. Randy Fine (R) said. “You’ve got two sets of rights that are fundamentally in conflict. You’ve got the right of a woman to do what she wants with her body. And you have the right of a baby to exist. And both of these rights cannot exist at the same time.”
Democrats have harshly disagreed.
“All abortion bans are extreme. They rob women and people of the freedom to make their own decisions,” Rep. Carlos G Smith (D) said.
Planned Parenthood officials said Floridians should have the freedom to make their own medical decisions.
“No person can truly call themselves free if they can’t make decisions about their own body,” said Stephanie Fraim.
Fraim is the President and CEO at Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida.
“This law is an attack on our freedom,” she said. “We should stand up and say you cannot control me, you cannot take my freedom away from me. We need this healthcare.”
The new law is not a closed deal for pro-choice advocates who argue it is unconstitutional. Fraim said Planned Parenthood is considering challenging the legislation in court.
This from a governor that cut off extra government paid unemployment for Covid early, has a ridiculous low state unemployment, has cut and tried to cut further food assistance for children including child school lunches. This governor has also fought any attempts to protect children in schools from Covid, fought vaccines for children and families, and has slashed funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) at a time it was needed most. And also in a weird way of showing how much they care about children this state pushed the don’t say gay bills that will leave LGBTQ+ kids target of bigots and being bullied by kids with bigoted parents.