DeSantis signs six-week abortion ban

Protesters gather on South Monroe Street in opposition of 6-week abortion ban. Photo courtesy:

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis quietly signed the legislation earlier this week that would ban abortions after six weeks.

Before the bill can be passed into law, the Florida Supreme Court must overturn the previous legislation allowing abortions up to 15 weeks.

“We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said in a statement.

Some Florida residents disagree with the governor’s sentiments regarding the bill. Opponents say that the legislation upends a woman’s right to decide the best option for her life and body.

This week, pro-choice protesters lined the sidewalks at the Leon County Courthouse across the street from the Capitol building with signs and banners justifying a woman’s right to choose what is best for her.

Founder and vice president of Women’s Voices of Southwest Florida, Kate Danehy-Samitz, was protesting this Thursday outside the Capitol with her organization.

“Ron DeSantis called Florida an ‘oasis of freedom,’ but if this was truly an oasis of freedom wouldn’t you have the right of self-governance?” asked Danehy-Samitz.

Women’s Voices of Southwest Florida has advocated for women’s rights across the state since 2021, when an abortion ban was proposed in Manatee County.

The bill has an exception for victims of human trafficking, rape and incest by allowing those individuals to seek an abortion up to 15 weeks into the pregnancy, according to the legislation. However, the woman would have to file a police report and provide medical documents following a rape examination or other official evidence to qualify for the 9-week extension.

A mother of four who also took to the streets in protest of the 6-week abortion ban, says that if she had had the pressure of deciding her fate and her child’s fate in a matter of a couple of weeks, her life would look very different.

“Because I did not know with any absolution that I had security in place that I was going to be financially secure or that I had support from family and friends. I didn’t have those answers yet. If I had been put in that position by a doctor that either I choose now or I may not have a choice, [then] my first child would not be here. I love my child, and I’m so glad I kept them. But people need time,” the mother said.

The bill would also bar individuals from seeking an abortion via tele-health or receiving an abortion pill by mail. Abortion methods would have to be administered in person by a doctor.

According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the time between a woman’s menstrual cycle ranges from 24-38 days. Therefore, for women with irregular periods, the six-week ban could eliminate their foresight in deciding their plan for contraception.

Once a woman has confirmed her cycle is a day or two late, she could already be four weeks pregnant, allowing her only roughly 14 days to deliberate on the factors of bringing a human into the world or accumulating the funds and emotional support she may need to terminate the pregnancy.