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Florida House passes 15-week abortion ban, advances to Senate


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The Florida House of Representatives passed a bill banning abortions after 15 weeks in the state 78-39 early Thursday morning, according to reports.

The bill will then go to the Senate and to the office of Governor Ron DeSantis for its signature. The governor has shown his support for the bill.

The vote came after more than five hours of heated debate and a brief delay by protesters.

“We have the opportunity today to pass once-in-a-lifetime legislation to save lives. To save babies,” said State Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka, a Republican sponsor of the bill, before the vote, according to the Tampa Bay Times. .

Members of the Florida House of Representatives gather during a legislative session on April 30, 2021 at the Capitol in Tallahassee, Florida. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)

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The bill follows other states like Mississippi and Texas that have passed similar abortion bans. The U.S. Supreme Court has signaled it is likely to uphold Mississippi’s 15-week ban. Arizona and West Virginia also advanced 15-week bans this week.

The Florida House rejected amendments that would have made exceptions for rape, incest or human trafficking, but included exceptions for cases of fatal fetal abnormality or if the life or health of the mother was seriously threatened by pregnancy.

Florida House passes 15-week abortion ban, advances to Senate

Body autonomy advocates march to the Florida Capitol to protest a bill before the Florida Legislature to limit abortions on February 16, 2022 in Tallahassee, Florida. (Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images)

“It’s the right to life and giving up life is unconscionable for me,” said Republican Rep. Dana Trabulsy, who revealed she once had an abortion but “regrets it every day since.”

Florida House passes 15-week abortion ban, advances to Senate

Florida, Brooksville, St. Anthony Church, Catholics vote pro-life banner. (Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
((Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

State Rep. Robin Bartleman, a Democrat, said, “As a woman, I have the right to make decisions about my body and what is in the best interest of my family. God forbid, your 11 year old daughter is raped and pregnant and you find out after 15 weeks you can’t abort your daughter, that’s what this law says.”

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More than a dozen demonstrators shouting “My body, my choice!” were kicked out of the chamber shortly before the vote, the Times reported.

Under current state law, abortion is legal until 24 weeks of pregnancy.

Correction: A previous headline incorrectly stated that the bill was a 12-week ban.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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