A measure that forbids physicians in Florida from aborting fetuses that are 15-weeks old or older has been signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis. HB 5 known as the Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality Act does not contain exceptions for rape or incest but does allow abortions in cases where the pregnancy threatens the health of the mother.
Meanwhile, the Act allows improvements in the reporting of data on abortions, including increased reporting on human trafficking and requiring the use of standardized forms consistent with the U.S. Standard Report of Induced Termination of Pregnancy adopted by the CDC.
Since its introduction, HB 5 has raised the ire of detractors on grounds that it severely limits healthcare options for women, and that in some cases doctors may not be able to detect abnormalities in fetuses that are 15-weeks-old.
DeSantis, who signed the bill during an April 14 press conference in Kissimmee, said that the measure is historic in the way it protects the rights of unborn children.
“I am proud to sign this great piece of legislation which represents the most significant protections for life in the state’s modern history,” the Governor said.
Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-Trilby) praised the “pro-family” legislation.
“Floridians can be proud that we live in a state that not only protects innocent, unborn life but also supports children and parents,” Simpson said.
Now that it has been signed into law, the Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality Act goes into effect on July 1.