Florida’s Republican-controlled Senate passed a proposed six-week abortion ban by a vote of 26 to 13. The House will now approve it.
Several people shouted down Republican legislators who were speaking on the chamber floor — until authorities removed them.
Opponents say the bill would effectively end legal abortions in Florida, as many women don’t know they are pregnant at six weeks.
Lauren Book, Democratic state senator from California, appealed to her Republican colleagues before the final vote.
“Look in your hearts and know that if you vote for this ban, things will get worse,” she said. “Women will get sick; Women will be permanently disabled. Women will die.”
Lori Berman, Democratic state senator from California, called the bill “inhumane” during Monday’s public testimony.
“Decisions about abortion should be between a woman, her doctor and her trusted circle of confidantes,” she said. “Not her legislators.”
However, Erin Grall, state senator, supported the bill, saying that “the termination or life meets the definitions of murder.”
The vote was largely partisan, with Sen. Corey Simon (R-Tallahassee) and Sen. Alexis Calatayud (R-Miami), joining Democrats in opposition.
There are exceptions for survivors who have been raped or incestuous for up to 15 weeks. Patients are required to show proof, such as a police report or a restraining orders.
In February, Gov. Ron DeSantis indicated support for the six-week ban saying, “We’re for pro-life. I urge the legislature to work, produce good stuff, and we will sign.”
Florida law currently prohibits abortion during 15 weeks pregnancy.
A legal challenge to this law can be brought before the state Supreme Court.
Plaintiffs argue that the law violates a privacy provision in the Florida Constitution, which has been used to protect abortion rights.
A poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute found that 64% of Floridians think abortion should be legal in all or most cases.
Despite being kicked out of the Capitol, activists such as Kat Duesterhaus, Communications Director for the National Organization for Women, say they won’t back down and will continue to protest abortion restrictions.
“Maternal mortality rates are three times higher in states that banned abortion post-Dobbs,” she shouted from the Senate chamber before being escorted out of the building.
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