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Final approval for 15-week abortion ban bill expected in Florida Senate Thursday

The Florida Senate considered more than a dozen amendments offered by Democrats on Wednesday for the 15-week abortion ban bill, but all were defeated.
Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 10:55 AM EST
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (CNS) - The Florida Senate on Wednesday moved the state closer to a ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. It considered more than a dozen amendments offered by Democrats, but all were defeated.

As Capitol News Service reports, that tees the bill up for final approval on Thursday, sending the bill to the governor.

Adopting a 15-week ban on abortions is a legislative gamble. Sponsor Kelli Stargel is counting on the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold a similar Mississippi statute.

“It’s a very different day, we know much more about what is going on with that baby in the womb,” Stargel told CNS in an exclusive interview. “And I think the court will take that into consideration, especially when they are looking at viability, and what this does to a mother.”

But Democrats say the bill is unconstitutional as it stands. Rep. Anna Eskamani (D-Orlando) is a former Planned Parenthood executive.

“We’re going to see Senators do their best to highlight how this is unconstitutional to have a record in place for what we assume will be potential litigation,” she said.

Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried continued to reinforce the message.

“There is a right to privacy and that is where the courts will come into play,” Fried said.

And one by one, the Senate said no to the Democrats’ proposed amendments, including one that would have added rape and incest as an exception to the 15-week ban.

Democratic leader Lauren Book pushed back against the tide of almost certain approval by GOP lawmakers.

“I think we need to be doing everything we can to give women the right to choose, and we’re not going to stop,” said Book.

The Senate is expected to send this bill to Ron DeSantis after a lengthy debate Thursday. He has already said he will sign it.

And once the bill is signed, lawsuits are likely to be filed.

But the possibility of going to court doesn’t surprise Stargel.

“These abortions are performed in late-term electively,” said Stargel. “You’re killing a baby at that point. That baby is formed. It has eyelashes, fingernails.”

If passed, the bill won’t become effective until July 1, and a ruling in the Mississippi case is expected before then.

The U.S. Supreme Court decision in the Mississippi case lawmakers are counting on is expected in May or June.

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