Ron DeSantis Couldn’t Wait to Restrict Women’s Rights
The Florida state legislature passed a six-week abortion ban on Thursday afternoon, leaving Ron DeSantis to sign the bill into law. He did so almost immediately, signing the bill in a ceremony surrounded by supporters.
“We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said of gutting of reproductive rights, which is already being challenged in court. “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 didn’t announce the signing until 11 p.m., leading many to wonder whether he’s trying to tamp down publicity of the new law, which won’t go into effect until court challenges are resolved.
It wouldn’t be hard to understand if this were the case. Restricting abortion access is deeply unpopular across the United States, and it’s hurting Republicans at the ballot box. The Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade last summer was widely blamed for the the party’s underwhelming performance in the midterms, and just last week liberal judge Janet Protasiewicz easily won a hotly contested Supreme Court seat in Wisconsin after running largely as an abortion advocate.
Republicans have therefore been tying themselves in knots to avoid broadcasting their support for banning it. Rolling Stone reported on Thursday about Trump’s concern that the party’s hardline approach to the issue is turning off voters, with sources relaying that the former president has griped about how “we’re getting killed on abortion.”
Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), who is gearing up to announce a 2024 presidential run, stressed earlier on Thursday that he is “100-percent pro-life,” but stopped short of saying he’d support a ban.
South Carolina, which Scott represents, is tough on abortion, as are pretty much every other state in the South. Florida has been a refuge for Americans seeking reproductive health care living in the area, but that will no longer be the case once the bill DeSantis signed on Thursday goes into effect. The bill — which provides exceptions for rape or incest but only if women provide police records or medical evidence — is essentially a total ban, as most women don’t know they’re pregnant until after six weeks.
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