Gov. DeSantis quietly signs ‘Heartbeat Protection Act’ banning abortion after 6 weeks
The ink is hardly dry, but the fight continues.

The new law includes some concessions the previous 15-week ban did not.

Just hours after lawmakers passed it mostly along party lines, Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a law banning abortion after six weeks of gestation.

“We are so proud to support life and family in the state of Florida,” he said. “I applaud the Legislature for passing the Heartbeat Protection Act that expands pro-life protections and provides additional resources for young mothers and families.”

The measure (SB 300) passed 70-40, with seven Republicans voting with Democrats against it. The legislation includes some concessions that the previous 15-week ban did not, including some exceptions for rape and incest.

The new law allows abortion up to the 15th week of pregnancy if the woman was impregnated as a victim of human trafficking, incest or rape, including statutory rape. If doctors determine a pregnant woman is at risk of death, “substantial and irreversible harm” or the fetus has a “fatal fetal abnormality,” abortion is permitted through the first two trimesters.

Senate President Kathleen Passidomo pushed for the exemptions and was able to convince her fellow Republicans. Part of the bill now includes $25 million to expand the Florida Pregnancy Care Network, which offers pregnancy support services statewide and $5 million for programs that promote the use of contraception.

House members debated over the bill Thursday for more than seven hours on the floor, where Democrats unsuccessfully proffered nearly 60 amendments. One would have changed the bill’s title to the “Forced Pregnancy Act.” Another would have mandated three months of parental leave for the parents in the case of a denied abortion.

In a jab at DeSantis’ bout with The Walt Disney Co. over the control of a special taxing district in Central Florida, an amendment by Orlando Rep. Anna Eskamani, who previously worked for Planned Parenthood, would have stipulated that the law would take effect “21 years after the death of the last surviving descendant of King Charles III, King of England, who is alive on July 1, 2023.”

None gained traction.

In a press note announcing DeSantis had signed the bill, the Governor’s Office used the occasion to take a shot at California and New York, which “have legalized infanticide up until birth,” while DeSantis “has enacted historic measures to defend the dignity of human life and transform Florida into a pro-life state.”

Sponsoring the measure were Fort Pierce Republican Sen. Erin Grall and Reps. Jennifer Canady of Lakeland and Jenna Persons-Mulicka of Fort Myers.

Just nine Republican lawmakers voted “no” in either chamber — Sens. Alexis Calatayud and Corey Simon, and Reps. Mike Caruso, Karen Gonzalez Pittman, Peggy Gossett-Seidman, Sam Killebrew, Chip LaMarca, Vicki Lopez and Rick Roth.

Following the vote, but before DeSantis signed SB 300, House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell applauded her Democratic colleagues for fighting against the bill despite not having enough numbers to prevent it from passing. Democrats hold just 30% of the seats in both chambers of the Legislature.

“(Florida House Democrats) left it ALL on the field for the people of Florida today, fighting for over 7 hours straight against the Republicans’ extreme 6-week ban that effectively will end the right to an abortion in this state,” she wrote on Twitter.

“Abortion is health care. Every woman should be allowed to make these personal and private decisions in consultation with her doctor, family and faith. She does not need Tallahassee politicians looking over her shoulder.”

After DeSantis signed the bill, she added, “We don’t have the votes in the Legislature to stop this madness now, but the people of Florida and the rest of America have enough votes next election.

“Keep watching — (DeSantis) is showing his true colors and it’s up to all of us to stop him.”


A.G. Gancarski of Florida Politics contributed to this report.

Jesse Scheckner

Jesse Scheckner has covered South Florida with a focus on Miami-Dade County since 2012. His work has been recognized by the Hearst Foundation, Society of Professional Journalists, Florida Society of News Editors, Florida MMA Awards and Miami New Times. Email him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @JesseScheckner.


  • Beth

    April 14, 2023 at 5:27 am

    DeSantis and the Republicans in the FL legislature and the brain dead idiots that support them are the most disgusting band of perverts on the planet. This pathetic group of insecure creeps has done everything they can to strip women of their basic human rights while at the same time supporting and protecting every sexual predator in their party. The intelligent people in FL and in the country need to band together and get these creatures out of office. They have no business being present in any capacity in a democracy. Send these pathetic little boys pretending to be men to the trash heap of history where they belong.

  • Elliott Offen

    April 14, 2023 at 8:25 am

    Blew it..blew his chances of becoming president. Now, we will have an army of meth and crack babies to descend on Florida.. unwanted kids with bad genes.. and hoards of criminal mutants will wreck the place. Social disaster is coming because of these religious whackos.

  • woken up

    April 14, 2023 at 9:22 am

    The Florida Constitution includes a right to privacy that protect’s medical decisions of citizens against interference from Big Brother Rona. Let’s hope that the Florida Supreme Court respects this established right and strikes down this unconstitutional interference with basic human liberty.

    • Dan

      April 16, 2023 at 10:56 pm

      Interesting you don’t think this “right to privacy in medical decisions” extends to vaccines.

  • Sing it with me!

    April 14, 2023 at 1:41 pm

    Well, he’s never gon’ be President now!
    (Never gon’ be President now)

    Well, he’s never gon’ be President now!
    (Never gon’ be President now)

    He’s never gon’ be President now!
    (Never gon’ be President now)

    That’s one less thing to worry about!
    That’s one less thing to worry about!

    • Justthefacts

      April 14, 2023 at 5:16 pm

      Just like Reagan who was’t President?

      “Yes he was…. yes he was!”

      The Gipper called abortion murder and was re-elected in a landslide.

      “So will Ron, yes he will!”

      • JD

        April 14, 2023 at 6:44 pm

        Ron has a FL Governor sit out in 2026-2030 and he’s made himself toxic for 2024. His only hope is 2028.

        He should do his best not to “scorch earth” what’s of Florida in his tantrums.

  • cassandra

    April 14, 2023 at 4:29 pm

    “…includes some concessions that the previous 15-week ban did not, including some exceptions for rape and incest.”

    While they may be “exceptions”, they are *NOT* concessions. Under DeSantis’ extreme 15 week ban, pregnancies resulting from rape or incest were banned after 15 weeks. Under DeSantis’ six week ban pregnancies resulting from rape and incest are criminalized after 15 weeks. (So was Passidomo fooled, or is she just trying to fool us?)

    DeSantis’ six week religious ban on women’s health rights has no age-based exceptions, so little girls as young as 9, already victimized by the men who rape them, are further victimized by the men who should be protecting them. These same cruel men parade around shamelessly, waving bibles, preaching “Protect our children”, “Let kids be kids”. Depraved. Indecent. Immoral.


  • JD

    April 14, 2023 at 7:22 pm

    Let’s play this out.

    Abortion is a primary winning stroke, but not a general election one. Which is why he signed the bill “under the cover of darkness”.

    Here is the litmus test – if he is getting ready to do a presidential run, you will the Resign to Run law get revoked. If it is, that’s a sure-fire indicator he’s going to run in 2024 primary.

    Damn that’s looks corrupt. Where are our Sunshine laws? Doesn’t this seem like collusion? I want an investigation of all Law makers communication by the AG damn it! Citizens called investigation!

    • Dan

      April 16, 2023 at 10:59 pm

      The legislature has revoked that law before for Charlie Crist so that he wouldnt have to resign should he had become John McCain’s running mate.
      It’s not unprecedented to change that law.

Comments are closed.


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