Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed legislation on Thursday that will prohibit all abortions in the state after 15 weeks of gestation, adding Florida to a growing list of Republican-led states that have taken action to defend the lives of the unborn over the past year.
“House Bill 5 protects babies in the womb who have beating hearts, who can move, who can taste, who can see, and who can feel pain,” DeSantis said during a morning signing ceremony. “Life is a sacred gift worthy of our protection, and I am proud to sign this great piece of legislation which represents the most significant protections for life in the state’s modern history.”
Known as the “Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality Act,” the bill passed the state Senate last month after its previous passage in the state House in February. Set to take effect July 1, the law does allow for a few exceptions for abortion procedures, including instances when it is necessary to “save the mother’s life, prevent serious injury or if the fetus has a fatal abnormality.”
“We believe that all these kids deserve an opportunity,” DeSantis added. “We’re not just giving lip service to that, we’re actually signing legislation.”
In addition to Florida, Oklahoma passed a law barring abortions in all cases but medical emergencies earlier this week, with Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt saying that he wants “Oklahoma to be the most pro-life state in the country.”
“I promised Oklahomans that I would sign every pro-life bill that hit my desks, and that’s what we’re doing here today,” he said during a Tuesday press event. “We want to outlaw abortion in the state of Oklahoma.”
The pro-life actions taken by Republican-led states come as the U.S. Supreme Court is set to decide on a major abortion-related case this summer. As noted by Federalist western correspondent Tristan Justice, “a decision in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization contesting a Mississippi abortion ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy is expected in June, with the potential to reverse the court’s landmark 1973 decision in Roe.”
Additional states that have passed abortion bans similar to those of Florida, Mississippi, and Oklahoma include Texas, Arizona, and Kentucky, among others.