This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Friday, April 14, ,2023:
Within hours of the Florida legislature passing the “Heartbeat” bill on Thursday, Governor Ron DeSantis signed it into law. He celebrated on twitter:
Signed the Heartbeat Protection Act, which expands pro-life protections and devotes resources to help young mothers and families.
The good news is that the new law reduces the state's present abortion restriction from 15 weeks to about six weeks, when a baby's heartbeat can first be detected. This amounts to a near-total ban on abortions, since most mothers aren't even aware they're pregnant until more than six weeks into their pregnancy.
The bad news is that the law won't become effective until Florida's Supreme Court rules that the state's present 15-week ban is constitutional. Until then, the 15-week ban remains in place, allowing abortions to continue apace. Last year, 82,000 babies were killed in their mother's womb in Florida.
There's more bad news. The new law contains many exceptions that will still allow abortion: rape, incest, and cases where the fetus is unlikely (in the opinion of the mother's physicians) to survive full term. In that case, the unborn child may be killed up until the third trimester of pregnancy (about 26 weeks into the pregnancy).
The new law, if it's allowed to take effect, also prohibits state funds from being used by pregnant mothers to travel to other more “abortion friendly” states to have an abortion. And it prohibits “telehealth” services from prescribing poison to kill the child. Only doctors would be able to do that in Florida.
The most grievous flaw in the new law, if allowed to become effective, is that it still permits murder if one considers that life begins at conception.
The war against that life has its usual supporters, especially including Planned Parenthood, which is the nation's largest abortion “provider,” and the aclu. That outfit is the one stalling implementation of the new law thanks to its lawsuit, now pending at the state's highest court.
When Governor DeSantis signed the present law into effect — the Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality Act – in April last year, the ACLU leapt at the chance to stall its implementation. When the court declined the group's demand that implementation of the law be delayed while the trial was being played out, it expressed its dismay:
While we are pleased that the court didn't shut its doors completely, we are dismayed that it has allowed this dangerous ban to remain in effect and to harm real people each and every day until this case is finally decided.
According to the ACLU, a new life isn't to be celebrated, but instead it is to be terminated if it's an inconvenience to the mother. The ACLU called Florida's law a “horror”:
We hope that the court acts quickly and follows 40 years of precedent and the will of the people to stop this unconstitutional 15-week abortion ban, which has caused chaos and devastation in the state since going into effect in July.
For almost seven months, women and people in need of essential abortion services have been forced to flee the state in search of the health care they need or face the horror of government-mandated forced pregnancy.
The original lawsuit against the 15-week ban was decided in favor of the ACLU/PPH using Florida's “right to privacy” clause in the state's constitution:
Every natural person has the right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person's private life.
Leon County Circuit Judge John Cooper said that that clause allowed him to rule that the 15-week ban was unconstitutional. In addition, there were other extenuating circumstances that supported the continuation of abortion in the Sunshine State, including fetal complications or conditions that “may not be fatal but can have profound and lasting implications for the patient [the mother], the family, and the neonate [newborn child] if the pregnancy is carried to term.”
common sense is present if difficult to find in the major media. The CEO of the American Association of Pro-Life OBGYNS, Dr. Christina Francis, was spot on when she said: “Elective abortions are not healthcare — they end the lives of our fetal patients.”
The White House, no defender of life of the preborn, weighed in against DeSantis' signing of the “heartbeat” law. White House Press Secretary Karine-Jean Pierre predictably called the new law “extreme and dangerous”:
Today, Florida's Republican supermajority-controlled legislature sent an extreme and dangerous new abortion ban to Governor DeSantis's desk for signature.
This ban would prevent four million Florida women of reproductive age from accessing abortion care after six weeks — before many women even know they're pregnant.
This ban would also impact the nearly 15 million women of reproductive age who live in abortion-banning states throughout the South, many of whom have previously relied on travel to Florida as an option to access care.
The battles lines have been drawn between those who believe that all human life is a gift from God, and those who consider an unplanned pregnancy as an unfortunate inconvenience that must be eliminated quickly.