Florida’s Six-week Abortion Ban Now In Effect

(NewsReady.com) – Florida was long viewed as an outlier in the Bible Belt when it came to abortion. It wasn’t until 2022 that the state implemented a strict 15-week ban. Thousands of women from all over the South traveled to the state to terminate their pregnancies. Now, an even stricter law has gone into effect.

Beginning on May 1, women in Florida are no longer able to access abortions beyond six weeks, before many of them will even know they’re pregnant. The law was allowed to take effect after a recent ruling by the Florida Supreme Court that the 15-week ban was legal.

The 6-week ban has effectively ended abortion access in the southeastern United States. Women who are seeking care will now have to travel to North Carolina or Virginia to complete an abortion if they wish to terminate their pregnancy. North Carolina prohibits the procedure after 12 weeks and Virginia allows it up to 26 weeks and six days.

In 2023, Florida abortion providers terminated 84,000 pregnancies. More than 9,000 of the cases involved women who were from out of state. Approximately 60% of the abortions in the Sunshine State occur after six weeks.

On April 30, clinics across the state tried to squeeze in as many patients as possible on the last day the procedure was legal for up to 15 weeks. The Bread and Roses Women’s Health Center in Gainsville extended its hours in April to accommodate more women.

The fight over abortion isn’t over in Florida. In November, voters will decide whether to enshrine women’s right to the procedure into the state constitution. The amendment would allow the procedure up to the point of fetal viability, which is about 24 weeks.

Abortion supporters have won every time the measure has been on the ballot in other states, but in Florida, they will need at least 60% of the vote to pass it. House Minority Leader Fentrice Driskell (D) told POLITICO, “It won’t be easy.”

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