Florida’s Heartbeat Protection Act is headed to Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk for signing.
On Thursday, the Florida House of Representatives passed the heartbeat bill in a 70-40 vote. The bill prohibits most abortions after a baby’s heartbeat is detected at six weeks of pregnancy.
“Florida lawmakers today delivered a major win for babies and mothers and a huge step forward for the Sunshine State,” Katie Daniel, state policy director for Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, said in a statement Thursday.
“Unborn babies are human beings with beating hearts at six weeks’ gestation,” Daniel said, adding that once a baby’s heart begins to beat, there is more than a “90% chance of surviving to birth. The Heartbeat Protection Act reflects these scientific facts and the consensus of 62% of Floridians – including majorities of women and Independents – that these vulnerable children deserve protection. Not only will this compassionate bill save tens of thousands of lives directly by protecting babies from abortion violence, it also provides $25 million in support for moms.”
The Florida Senate passed the bill on April 3 in a 26-13 vote. DeSantis, a Republican, has previously said he was “ready to sign” a heartbeat bill in Florida, according to National Review.
Jeanne Mancini, president of March for Life, said her organization “applauds the Florida legislature for passing the Heartbeat Protection Act, life-affirming legislation that protects babies after their heartbeat is detectable and provides vital support to women and families in need facing unexpected pregnancies. This bill’s advancement gives Gov. DeSantis a prime opportunity to act upon the will of the people in Florida and protect the state’s most vulnerable citizens.”
Planned Parenthood Action responded to the news on Twitter, writing, “Florida lawmakers just banned abortion after 6 weeks of pregnancy, pending the governor’s signature. This is before many people even know they’re pregnant, severely restricting abortion access across the state.”
Abortion advocates claim that the cardiac pulses detected at 6 weeks’ gestation do not represent a heartbeat, noting that ultrasounds do not detect the four chambers of the heart until around 17 or 20 weeks. However, the activity does represent the flow of blood in the baby and the early heart is forming at this time.
In addition to protecting the unborn, the bill, known as SB 300, also provides $25 million in aid to pro-life pregnancy centers to help women during and after pregnancy.
“By passing SB 300, the Florida Legislature is representing the values of Floridians by protecting life from heartbeat,” Jessica Anderson, executive director of Heritage Action for America said in a statement. “The passage of this legislation marks an important victory for Floridians and the American people, and it highlights the sharp contrast between conservatives’ reasonable approach to protecting life and the Left’s extreme drive to normalize and celebrate ending the lives of unborn children.”
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