Florida Gov. DeSantis Eyes Possibility of Implementing Restrictive Texas-Style Abortion Law
21:06 GMT 03.09.2021 (Updated: 13:23 GMT 06.08.2022)
The Texas law, which took effect on Wednesday, effectively prohibits practically all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is confirmed, which typically occurs six weeks after a woman gets pregnant. While there is an exception for medical reasons, women who become pregnant as a result of rape or incest are not exempt.
After the US Supreme Court declined to overturn pro-life legislation in Texas, Florida's Republican Governor Ron DeSantis said he will "look more significantly" at a fetal heartbeat abortion ban, the Sunshine State's Local 10 reported on Friday.
"What they did in Texas is interesting and I haven’t really been able to look at enough about it," DeSantis is quoted in the report as saying. "They’ve basically done this through private right of action. So, it’s a little bit different than how a lot of these debates have gone, so we will have to look. I am going to look more significantly at it."
A provision in the law, known as Senate Bill 8, or more commonly known simply the Texas Heartbeat Act, allows a private person to sue anyone suspected of performing or assisting in abortion in violation of the law.
In a 5-4 decision on Wednesday, the Supreme Court denied an emergency appeal by abortion providers to overturn the ruling, with the majority coming from the court's conservative justices. Chief Justice John Roberts joined the liberal justices on the Supreme Court in dissenting.
On Thursday, Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson reportedly indicated state lawmakers were prepared to submit a similar bill to the Texas one in their state, using the high court's decision as permission to do so.
“When the Supreme Court goes out and makes a decision like this, it clearly is going to send a signal to all the states that are interested in banning abortions or making it more restrictive to have an abortion in their state, it’s certainly going to make us take a look at those issues," Simpson said.
Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union are among those who believe the Texas bill violates women's constitutional rights.
3 September 2021, 08:43 GMT
Earlier this week, the US media reported that President Joe Biden and top Democrats are assessing their options for dealing with the impact of the disputed pro-life law. The party is now reportedly debating its next moves in terms of a legislative reaction, trying to incorporate abortion rights protections into federal law while also potentially reforming the Supreme Court, warning that the decision is fraught with enormous repercussions in other states nationwide.
Presently, Biden responded by directing his department to assist Texas in “insulating women and providers” from the law. Attorney General Merrick Garland issued a statement in which he stated that he was "deeply concerned."
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that the House will vote on the Women's Health Protection Act, federal legislation that will guarantee women's right to abortion care across the country by enforcing the 1973 landmark case Roe v. Wade.
Roe v. Wade was a landmark decision by the US Supreme Court, declaring that a pregnant woman's right to an abortion is protected under the constitution. The landmark decision sparked a national debate about abortion length limitations, particularly in areas where anti-abortion legislation had been struck down.