Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signs 15-week abortion ban into law

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks to anti-abortion supporters before signing a 15-week abortion ban into law on April 14, 2022. Photo: Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Thursday signed into law a bill that bans all abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy in the state.

Driving the news: The legislation includes no exceptions for rape or incest and only allows abortions past 15 weeks in cases of a medical emergency or if there's a "fatal fetal abnormality."

  • Abortions must also be reported to the state, along with information on why the procedure was provided.
  • The law is set to take effect on July 1.

Context: In Florida, it is currently legal to get an abortion up to the 24th week of pregnancy.

What he's saying: "To be able to sign the bill here today is really, really meaningful," DeSantis said at an event, accompanied by anti-abortion advocates. "It's a statement to our values that every life is important."

“We are appalled that this abortion ban was signed. Not only will it prevent health care providers — including those at Planned Parenthood — from giving their patients the best care possible, but it will limit options for people in many complex and potentially life threatening situations," said Alexandra Mandado, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida.

  • Elisabeth Smith, director of state policy and advocacy at the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement that the bill "will decimate abortion access for residents in the state and the entire region," adding that "Florida has long been critical for abortion access in the South."

What we're watching: Mandado said that Planned Parenthood is "exploring every option to stop this unconstitutional ban from being implemented."

  • Kara Gross, legislative director and senior policy counsel at the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, pledged to challenge the law: "We will take swift legal action to protect Floridians’ rights and defend against this cruel attack on our bodily autonomy."

The big picture: The Supreme Court is reviewing a challenge to a similar law in Mississippi that also bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

  • Its decision could throw Roe v. Wade's survival into question, or at least narrow its scope. A ruling is expected by June.

Zoom out: Red states across the U.S. have moved to introduce, pass and enact abortion restrictions.

  • In Oklahoma, the governor recently signed into law a bill that will make providing abortions in the state illegal and goes into effect this summer. The White House called it "the country's most restrictive legislation regulating access to reproductive health care."
  • Kentucky's Republican-led legislature voted Wednesday to override Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear's veto of a bill that bans abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy with no exceptions for rape or incest, effective immediately.

Go deeper:

  • What abortion access would look like if Roe v. Wade is overturned
  • Abortions could require 200-mile trips if Roe is overturned

Editor's note: This story has been updated with new details throughout.

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