Ron DeSantis will ‘have to look’ at Texas-style heartbeat abortion ban before endorsing

Ron DeSantis
Texas took a novel approach with its law, helping it survive the Supreme Court's first check.

Gov. Ron DeSantis weighed in on Texas’ heartbeat abortion ban the U.S. Supreme Court declined to overturn late Wednesday.

The new Texas state law bans abortions after a heartbeat is detected, around six weeks. Instead of posing criminal punishments enforceable by the state, a novel aspect to the law lets private citizens sue providers and anyone assisting an abortion for their role in the act.

Speaking in West Palm Beach Thursday afternoon, DeSantis was asked by reporters if he would support a Texas-style abortion law. He noted he is “pro-life” and called Texas’ approach “interesting.”

“It’s a little bit different than how a lot of these debates have gone, so we’ll have to look. I’m going to look more significantly at it,” DeSantis said.

In 2020, DeSantis signed a law requiring minors obtain consent from their parents before undergoing abortions.

Supreme Court precedent prohibits states from banning abortions before a fetus is viable, usually between 22 to 24 weeks. However, Texas’ law effectively bans abortions before many women know they’re pregnant because heartbeats become detectable around six weeks.

DeSantis noted the Supreme Court didn’t directly uphold the law. The majority, against Chief Justice John Roberts and liberal justices in a dissent, said abortion providers that requested the court pause the law had not met the high burden required for a stay, in part because of the way Texas’ law is enforced.

The Supreme Court has overturned other states’ fetal heartbeat abortion bans that carried state enforcement.

“I wouldn’t read too much into it,” DeSantis said of the Court’s Texas ruling.

“But I do think that, at the end of the day, the science on this has been very powerful now for a long time,” he continued. “You go back 40 years ago, what people thought versus what they can see now, very, very powerful. So, I’ve always been somebody that really does support protections for life as best as we can do.”

DeSantis’ comments come after Senate President Wilton Simpson told Evan Donovan of Tampa Bay’s WFLA News Channel 8 that the Legislature is “already working on it.”

“The Texas law represents a new approach and the fact that the Supreme Court didn’t block it from taking effect is encouraging,” Simpson said in a statement.

“Abortion kills children and forever changes the life of the mother, the father, and the entire extended family. As an adoptive child myself, it’s important to me that we do everything we can to promote adoption and prevent abortion; therefore, I think it’s worthwhile to take a look at the Texas law and see if there is more we can do here in Florida.”

A spokesperson for House Speaker Chris Sprowls said the Speaker supports anti-abortion laws in general, including the possibility of a Texas-style law. However, Sprowls would first want to see the bill before endorsing it specifically.

“In Florida, we agree that killing an innocent human being with a beating heart is wrong. It is why we have worked every Session to strengthen protections for unborn babies, including those for unborn children with disabilities last Session, and it is why I am confident that those who share this moral view in the Florida House will continue the fight,” Sprowls said in a statement.

Florida Planned Parenthood Action issued a statement criticizing the proposal after Simpson’s comments broke.

“We need legislators to focus on doing their job, supporting Floridians’ true needs, instead of trying to pass dangerous and unconstitutional abortion bans,” they tweeted.

In a separate tweet, Florida Planned Parenthood Action called Sprowls’ comments “extreme rhetoric.”

Florida LGBTQ+ Democratic Caucus President Stephen Gaskill warned Florida could be next to implement a Texas-style abortion ban.

“Floridians have a right to be concerned. Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed the Texas abortion ban to take effect, it’s only a matter of time before Florida follows suit with similar legislation. In his effort to pander to the farthest-right contingent in the (Donald) Trump universe, Governor DeSantis has already pledged his support to overturn Roe v. Wade and anti-choice legislation is a sure bet for his 2022 Legislative Session wish list.”

Simpson notes his “pro-life” stance goes beyond just abortion, including addressing contraception and child welfare reforms. Last Session, he put $2 million in the state budget to increase access for low-income girls and women to long-acting reversible contraception. But DeSantis vetoed that spending when he signed the budget.

“Providing approaches like (hormonal long-acting reversible contraception) give young people the opportunity to delay parenting without the trauma and carnage brought on by abortion, while investments in child welfare programs create an environment in our state where young parents can feel confident that there are options other than abortion and they will be supported in their decision to choose life for their babies,” Simpson said.

Committee meetings for the 2022 Legislative Session will begin late this month. The 60-day Legislative Session will start Jan. 11.

Renzo Downey

Renzo Downey covers state government for Florida Politics. After graduating from Northwestern University in 2019, Renzo began his reporting career in the Lone Star State, covering state government for the Austin American-Statesman. Shoot Renzo an email at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @RenzoDowney.


17 comments

  • Alex

    September 2, 2021 at 2:24 pm

    Let’s just call DeSantis and the Florida Legislature what they are.

    The American Taliban.

    • Richard Nascak

      September 2, 2021 at 7:01 pm

      This column cannot print what I am calling you right now. How DARE you?

      • Alex

        September 2, 2021 at 7:22 pm

        How dare I what?

        • Taliban Ron

          September 3, 2021 at 9:21 am

          Richard, us Taliban have many guns and weapons. They are very good American weapons. We will sell cheap. We will not let Nika Fried know about the deal. How do we contact you? Please call me — but don’t call me DARE.

    • Taliban Ron

      September 3, 2021 at 7:39 am

      The Talibans are right. Women have no rights. We must not let women have access to coat hangers to abort..
      Zhombre is very smart for an American. We want him in Afghanistan to put women and disobedient Americans in their place. We are a great country, we enjoy flogging our women. Come to our country and Make Afghanistan Great Again.

  • ScienceBLVR

    September 2, 2021 at 2:58 pm

    Of course Desantis and his ilk are following suit. Why is it this denial of civil rights is always led by men who don’t even have a WOMB in the fight? And didn’t I just see our Governor turned down almost a billion dollars in food aid that would have gone to feeding children? All in for bringing unwanted kids into poverty, but sure don’t want to take care of them once they are here. Men shouldn’t even have a say in this, truthfully..

    • Alex

      September 2, 2021 at 3:07 pm

      The whole thing is really very simple;

      If you don’t believe in abortion, don’t have one.

      • Zhombre

        September 2, 2021 at 3:21 pm

        Your mother regretted not having one.

        • Alex

          September 2, 2021 at 3:49 pm

          You can’t insult me, because I don’t care what you think.

          • Zhombre

            September 2, 2021 at 4:28 pm

            LOL glad to hear because that’s reciprocal.

          • Alex

            September 2, 2021 at 5:12 pm

            You couldn’t think of a comeback.

            Lol

            I am amused by your ineptitude.

          • Zhombre

            September 2, 2021 at 7:16 pm

            LOL christalmighty you are such an obtuse, arrogant dick. I don’t care about ‘comeback’ to your rubbish. You can play your puerile games and count coup all you want. Only matters to you.

          • Zhombre

            September 2, 2021 at 7:17 pm

            LOL christalmighty you are such an obtuse, arrogant dick. I don’t care about ‘comeback’ to your rubbish. You can play your puerile games and count coup all you want. Only matters to you. You can have the Last Word, btw. Matters to you, apparently, and means shit to me.

          • Alex

            September 2, 2021 at 7:21 pm

            Want to see puerile?

            You need to reread your original comment to me.

            “Your mother regretted not having one.”

            Lol

            You’re too stupid to be self aware.

  • PeterH

    September 2, 2021 at 3:52 pm

    AMERICA’S HANDMAID’S TALE IS REALIZED SOONER THAN ANYONE EXPECTED.

    Texas is what happens when the new MAGA party can work unchecked.

    From not connecting their power grid (leaving too many to freeze to death earlier this year) to their assault on voting rights to now one of the most draconian anti-woman bills ever passed, this is the sum total of “GOP” governance now.

    The Texas legislature and Greg Abbott and Dan Patrick are perfectly willing to do everything they can to appease their Trumpist base because they have to win their primaries. If they do anything other than the most Trump-y thing possible, they’re going to get primaried by someone even crazier. Abbott already is, and he couldn’t go farther off the deep end if he tried (and he is trying.) And Texas is gerrymandered so thoroughly that there is no choice for these people but to stay on this path.

    All of this has real life effects for Texans. Young people, people of color, senior citizens, and now women. It’s harder to vote, lifesaving utilities are a crapshoot, and now there’s a $10k bounty out on everyone even remotely involved with a woman’s right to choose complete with an anonymous digital tip line. And those vigilantes are going to be armed, thanks to a new permitless open carry law Abbott rammed through. No training required!

    The Supreme Court is content to let the abortion ban stand for now. This is the sum of a decades-long series of actions we can get into on another day, and we will — it’s because conservatives have long cared about the Court and Democrats have not. The Supreme Court hadn’t really had a chance to prove just how far off the deep end Trump took it. Well, they did now.

    Join real conservatives please join us at the Lincoln Project or at more than a half dozen alternative “never Trump” organizations. Today’s GQP must be destroyed before it can be rebuilt better. Divide and conquer the GQP …. It is America’s only hope for survival.

    • Alex

      September 2, 2021 at 4:04 pm

      “And Texas is gerrymandered so thoroughly that there is no choice for these people but to stay on this path.”

      I hadn’t thought of that.

      Thanks.

Comments are closed.


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