Florida's severe abortion ban goes into effect

But on the other side of the country, Arizona legislators have repealed its 1864 abortion prohibition.

Post-Wade Dispatch

Florida’s stringent, six-week abortion ban will take effect starting today. This new restriction was signed off by the state’s Supreme Court in April, when the court upheld Florida’s original 15-week ban. However, Florida voters will be able to support a ballot initiative that would enshrine a constitutional protection of the right to an abortion. 

Now that the ban has become law, the entirety of the Sun Belt and Greater South will essentially become an abortion dead zone. For example, if someone in Miami wanted to receive an abortion, the closest state to get one is North Carolina — which bans the procedure after 15 weeks. 

Both President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris recently denounced the restriction. Harris traveled to Jacksonville today to speak out against the law. And at a campaign event in Tampa last week, Biden told supporters he would “hold Trump accountable” for laying the foundation for the end of Roe v. Wade. 

“He’s wrong. The Supreme Court was wrong. It should be a constitutional right in the federal Constitution,” Biden said about the former president. “It’s not about state’s rights; it’s about women’s rights.”

While the Florida ban does not entirely eliminate the possibility of receiving such urgent reproductive care, the strict time constraint will effectively bar countless individuals from getting an abortion: Comprehensive studies found that a pregnancy is typically realized in an average of 5.5 weeks after conception. 

Furthermore, according to additional research, unintended pregnancies were “more likely than those with intended pregnancies to learn of their pregnancies late.”

Major abortion providers like Planned Parenthood announced that they would be compelled to respect the new law.

“​​In compliance with the 6-week abortion ban, Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida has stopped providing abortion care for patients who are more than 6 weeks pregnant, unless they meet one of the vaguely written, extremely limited, statutory exceptions,” the Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida said in a post from their website. “This means that millions of Floridians have been robbed of their freedom to make private medical decisions.” 

Meanwhile, in Arizona, Democrats in the state Legislature were joined by two Republicans in their effort to repeal the ancient abortion ban that was revived by the end of Roe v Wade and a recent ruling by the state’s Supreme Court. Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) will almost certainly ratify the appeal. 

In the event that Democrats failed to repeal, Hobbs’ Attorney General Kris Mayes was expected to file a motion to delay the implementation of the old ban — which was based around a legal code created before Arizona had even joined the Union. 

Some Arizona Republicans also denounced the return of the 160-year-old ban earlier this month, but most failed to actually support legislation to terminate it. In fact, despite criticism from the likes of Donald Trump and former GOP candidate for Senate Kari Lake, Republicans in the legislature blocked the first attempts to repeal the law.  

“We are relieved that lawmakers have finally repealed this inhumane abortion ban – something extremist politicians refused to do for far too long,” said Victoria López, director of program and strategy for the ACLU of Arizona, told The Guardian. “Unfortunately, cruel abortion bans like the law from 1864 have been at the center of political stunts for years, causing lasting harm to people who need abortions and their providers.”

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Jamie Larson