Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a bill into law on Friday that redefines the state’s current third trimester abortion ban, creating further restrictions for women seeking later abortions.
Current state law does not allow abortions after 24 weeks except if the pregnant person’s life or health is threatened. HB 1047 will limit the existing exceptions by removing mental health conditions as a reason to allow a late abortion.
In addition, the law bans abortion at any point in the pregnancy once a fetus is deemed viable unless two doctors certify in writing that it is necessary to protect the health and life of the woman. If two doctors are not available, one must certify in writing that a second was unable to consult on the matter.
“Sadly, this is really about advancing an agenda of political interference with women’s decision-making,” said Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas, Executive Director of the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, in a statement. “Despite continued attempts to legislate women’s health, this is not what we want. Personal medical decisions, like the decision to end a pregnancy, should be kept between a woman and her doctor.”
The law will go into effect July 1.
Media Resources: RH Reality Check 6/16/14; Associated Press 6/13/14; Reuters 6/13/14; Florida House of Representatives 2014; National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health 6/13/14