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HomeAt Home & BeyondHeartbeat Protection Act becomes law in Florida

Heartbeat Protection Act becomes law in Florida

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Physicians in Florida are prohibited from performing abortions when the unborn child has a detectable heartbeat under legislation signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis on April 13.

Specifically, SB 300, the Heartbeat Protection Act forbids physicians in Florida from knowingly performing an abortion or inducing the termination of a pregnancy when the fetus has reached a gestational age of six weeks except in cases where the woman seeking the abortion has been “the victim of rape, incest or human trafficking.” An unborn child will have a detectable heartbeat at around six weeks after conception.

On April 3, the Florida Senate passed SB 300 by a 26-13 vote. It was approved by the state House of Representatives on April l3 by a 70-40 margin.
“I applaud the Legislature for passing the Heartbeat Protection Act that expands pro-life protections and provides additional resources for young mothers and families, “ DeSantis said at a signing event in Tallahassee.

Detractors of the law argue that some women may not even be aware of their pregnancy at six weeks. Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida denounced the state Legislature for passing the new law in the first place. “Our government is not representing the best interests of Floridians,” the group said in an April 14 posting.

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SB 300 reduces the allowed time frame for medical pregnancy termination from the 15 weeks allowed under HB 5, signed by DeSantis last year.
In response to that measure, Planned Parenthood and others sued the state of Florida on grounds that the law violated the State’s constitution. That case remains pending before the Florida Supreme Court.

Until that case is resolved, the effective date for SB 300 is undetermined.

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