Florida’s Republican-led House of Representatives on Thursday gave final approval to a six-week abortion ban, setting the stage for abortion access to be drastically curtailed in the state and across the U.S. South.
Governor Ron DeSantis is expected to sign the legislation, which makes exceptions for abortions in cases of rape, incest and when the mother’s life or health are at serious risk.
The Republican governor signed the state’s current 15-week ban into law last year and has said he supports further limits.
The fate of the ban will depend on the outcome of a court challenge to the state’s 15-week abortion ban, which abortion providers have argued violates the state constitutional right to privacy.
If the Florida Supreme Court rules that the 15-week ban is constitutional, the six-week ban would take effect 30 days later.
Patients from across the U.S. Southeast have been traveling to Florida to end their pregnancies since the U.S. Supreme Court gutted federal abortion rights. Most other states in the region have already banned the procedure at early stages of pregnancy.