Florida closes in on six-week abortion ban while also allowing no-permit gun carry | Florida

Florida took another step to the right on Monday when the state senate approved a bill to ban abortions after six weeks, a measure supported by Republican governor and expected presidential candidate Ron DeSantis – who on the same day signed into law a bill allowing the public to carry concealed guns without a permit.

The latest proposal to restrict reproductive rights must still be approved by the house in the state legislature before it reaches the governor’s desk. Florida currently prohibits abortions after 15 weeks.

A six-week ban would more closely align Florida with the abortion restrictions of other Republican-controlled states and give DeSantis a political win on an issue important with GOP primary voters ahead of his potential White House run.

The bill would have larger implications for abortion access throughout the south, as the nearby states of Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi prohibit the procedure at all stages of pregnancy and Georgia bans it after fetal cardiac activity can be detected, which is around six weeks.

Meanwhile, the new weapons law will allow anyone who can legally own a gun in Florida to carry one without a permit. It means training and a background check will not be needed for people to carry concealed guns in public. The state now has nearly 3 million permit holders.

The bill signing came five years after then governor Rick Scott, also a Republican, signed a bill creating gun restrictions after 17 students and faculty were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school in Parkland in 2018.

On the abortion restriction, Erin Grall, a Republican state senator who sponsored the bill, said: “Bodily autonomy should not give a person the permission to kill an innocent human being. We live in a time where the consequences of our actions are an afterthought and convenience has been substitution for responsibility, and this is unacceptable when it comes to the protection of the most vulnerable.”

The proposal allows exceptions to save the life of the woman and exceptions in the case of pregnancy caused by rape or incest until 15 weeks of pregnancy. In those cases, a woman would have to provide documentation such as a medical record, restraining order or police report. DeSantis has called the rape and incest provisions sensible.

It would require that the drugs used in medication-induced abortions – which make up the majority of those provided nationally – could be dispensed only in person by a physician.

The new bill would only take effect if the state’s current 15-week ban is upheld in an ongoing legal challenge that is before the state supreme court.

Democratic state senator Lauren Book urged women to contact her office directly, saying on the senate floor: “Please don’t take matters into your own hands. Do not put your safety at risk. No back-alley abortions. There are people and funds that will help you. No matter where you live, no matter how desperate of a situation you are in, no matter how helpless it may seem. I promise, you are not alone. Call my office,” Book said.

Protesters opposing the abortion ban made their voices heard during the legislative debate and some were kicked out of the state capitol.

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Kat Duesterhaus, leader of the activist group Bans Off Miami and a communications director for the National Organization for Women, shouted her opposition in the chamber and referred to the US supreme court’s shredding of federal abortion rights last June, when it decided the Dobbs case which included overturning Roe v Wade.

“Maternal mortality rates are three times higher in states that banned abortion post-Dobbs,” Duesterhouse shouted before being escorted out.

The bill has every chance of reaching DeSantis’s desk.

And as he signed the gun rights bill, later on Monday, Democrats and gun safety advocates, pointing to mass shootings in Florida like the massacre at the 2016 Pulse nightclub in Orlando and the Parkland shooting, said the new law will only make the state more dangerous. It came just days after three children and three adult staff were gunned down at an elementary school in Nashville, Tennessee.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre issued a statement on the new gun law, saying, in part: “It is shameful that so soon after another tragic school shooting, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law a permitless concealed carry bill … This is the opposite of commonsense gun safety … President Biden has been clear: too many lives are being ripped apart by gun violence. The president continues to call on Congress to ban assault weapons.”

( Information from politico.com was used in this report. Also if you have any problem of this article or if you need to remove this articles, please email here and we will delete this immediately. [email protected] )

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