The Florida Senate on Monday approved a bill to ban abortions after six weeks, a measure supported by Gov. Ron DeSantis.
The vote prompted demonstrations at the state’s capital that resulted in the arrest of the leader of the Florida Democratic Party and a state senator by city police.
The proposal must still be approved by the House before it reaches the governor’s desk. Florida currently prohibits abortions after 15 weeks.
A six-week ban would more closely align Florida with the abortion restrictions of other Republican-controlled states and give DeSantis a political win on an issue important with GOP primary voters ahead of his potential White House run.
Florida Democrats and groups advocating for abortion rights say this proposal disproportionally affects low-income women and people of color.
The party said that Nikki Fried, chair of the Florida Democratic Party, and Lauren Book, Florida’s senate minority leader, were arrested late Monday at a sit-in protest outside the Florida State Capitol. Images shared on social media showed the two women and other demonstrators as they are handcuffed by police officers.
Video given to CBS12 by Florida Planned Parenthood Action shows the arrests of the two prominent Florida Democrats.
BREAKING: Tallahassee Police Department just arrested dozens of peaceful pro-choice protestors at City Hall outside of the Florida Capitol.
This includes Senator @LeaderBookFL and FDP Chair @NikkiFriedFL.
Abortion is health care. pic.twitter.com/4O78dozXbg
— Florida Planned Parenthood Action (@PPactionFL) April 4, 2023
In a news release, the Tallahassee Police Department said that protesters against the abortion ban were told they would have to leave after sunset, but 11 people refused to go and were arrested for trespassing. They did not identify them by name.
Later that same evening, it was announced by Florida Planned Parenthood Action that Fried and Book were released.
The bill would have larger implications for abortion access throughout the South, as the nearby states of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi prohibit the procedure at all stages of pregnancy and Georgia bans it after cardiac activity can be detected, which is around six weeks.
“Bodily autonomy should not give a person the permission to kill an innocent human being. We live in a time where the consequences of our actions are an afterthought and convenience has been substitution for responsibility, and this is unacceptable when it comes to the protection of the most vulnerable,” said Sen. Erin Grall, a Republican who sponsored the bill.
The proposal allows exceptions to save the life of the woman and exceptions in the case of pregnancy caused by rape or incest until 15 weeks of pregnancy. In those cases, a woman would have to provide documentation such as a medical record, restraining order or police report. DeSantis has called the rape and incest provisions sensible.
It would require that the drugs used in medication-induced abortions — which make up the majority of those provided nationally — could be dispensed only in person by a physician.
The new bill would only take effect if the state’s current 15-week ban is upheld in an ongoing legal challenge that is before the state Supreme Court.
Republicans control a supermajority in the Legislature and have largely focused on DeSantis priorities during the ongoing legislative session. DeSantis is expected to announce his presidential candidacy after the session ends in May, with his potential White House run in part buoyed by the conservative policies approved in the statehouse this year.
Democrats have conceded that they cannot stop the proposal from moving forward.
During debate earlier on Monday, Democratic Sen. Book urged women to contact her office directly, reading her phone number aloud on the Senate floor, if they are considering getting an abortion and need to connect with healthcare providers.
“Please don’t take matters into your own hands. Do not put your safety at risk. No back-alley abortions. There are people and funds that will help you. No matter where you live, no matter how desperate of a situation you are in, no matter how helpless it may seem. I promise, you are not alone. Call my office,” Book said.
These sick sluts do not even think a baby is real. They are so dumb it is sickening. Use birth control if you do not want a baby. Go around and screw around but think before you leap.
If you want to have unpretected sex but don’t want the responsability of raising a child, then there are MANY different ways to preserve the life of the innocent baby. One being ADOPTION! But then there are the early on options like; The Morning After Pill, Birth Control, (in many forms) IUD, Condoms, Ejaculating outside.. Many different options. But to go months without doing anything and literally murdering a baby that can feel all the pain because you don’t want to be responsible is just insane. SOMEONE has to speak for that baby. We hope it would be the mother. Its the only place a baby is suppose to feel safe is in a mother’s womb. But if mom isn’t mentally willing to take on that responability, there ARE options. Murder just shouldn’t be one of them.
arrest ALL of them….we can play the political persecution/prosecution game, too.
What a deal. Humans fighting over dead bodies of children, that havent even been born yet. This shouldnt be an issue. Abortions other than a direct threat to the mother or childs life, and rape. And some forms of incest. The rest is just a sell off of baby parts. Women who cant see this are not normal women. They should be aborted, or severley punished if caught doing this.
Abortion is a healthcare only when the fetus is dead. Otherwise is is a murder, not a helthcare.