As with all abortion bans, this bill will prevent people from accessing essential health care and take away people’s power over their own bodies, their lives, and their futures.
Often, people don’t even realize they’re pregnant at six weeks. As a result, this bill means many pregnant people will never have the option to have an abortion. Moreover, between the 24-hour mandatory delay and two appointment requirements, even patients who realize they are pregnant before six weeks may be unable to access abortion care before they run out of time.
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Bans abortion after six weeks
The law bans abortion after six weeks of pregnancy — which is before many people know that they’re pregnant. This means that if you live in Florida and you need an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy you have two options: travel out of state to get your abortion or carry your pregnancy to term against your will.
There is one narrow exception - if the pregnancy is the result of rape or incest, banned after 15 weeks. The bill requires a significant burden of proof for survivors of violence: a restraining order, police report, medical record, or other court order or documentation.
It is a second degree felony for physicians in Florida to perform a banned abortion. Many doctors and hospitals are already deciding to not perform the procedure even in life threatening or tragic situations like that of the Dorberts, who were denied the ability to save the mother and her child from unnecessary suffering.
Expands the anti-abortion fake clinic program
The bill would grant an additional $25 million per year in recurring funds to fund anti-abortion fake clinics from the General Revenue Fund to the Florida Department of Health. Currently anti-abortion fake clinics receive $4.5 million per year in state funding. At these fake clinics, untrained volunteers or staff regularly give pregnant people medically inaccurate and potentially dangerous information about their pregnancies that could cause serious harm because they are not legitimate sexual and reproductive health care providers.
In addition, many of these fake clinics collect personal health information about their clients, as if they were truly health care providers. But since they are not providing legitimate medical care, they are not bound by state and federal privacy laws, resulting in some of them using that information to contact people’s relatives, partners, or employers to try to intimidate them out of getting an abortion.
Fake Clinics in the news:
- How Anti-Abortion Pregnancy Centers Can Claim to Be Medical Clinics and Get Away With It
- Anti-Abortion Centers Find Pregnant Teens Online, Then Save Their Data: The so-called ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ are turning to social media, including Snap Maps, to lure young people
- How a Florida anti-abortion center claimed to be a medical clinic
- People in abortion deserts will be at extra risk of anti-abortion center manipulation if Roe falls
The effective date is tied to state court actions undermining or eliminating Florida’s constitutional right to privacy. These actions are available options in a challenge to the state’s ban on abortion after 15 weeks. The effective date provision of this bill is broad and vague, meaning lawmakers could try to put this bill into effect even before a final ruling.
Other notable provisions of the bill
Clarifies the prohibition on telehealth for abortion
“A physician must be physically present in the same room as the woman when the termination of pregnancy is performed or when dispensing abortion-inducing drugs including, but not limited to, medical abortions. Any medications intended for use in a medical abortion must be dispensed in person by a physician and may not be dispensed through the United States Postal Service or by any other courier or shipping service”
Prohibits state funds going to educational institutions or governmental entities that support out of state travel for an abortion
“Unless the entity is required by federal law to expend funds for such a purpose or unless there is a medical necessity to save the pregnant person's life or avert a serious risk”
Strikes pre-Roe language that requires AHCA to develop rules to implement this law that do not impose an unconstitutional burden on a woman’s freedom to decide whether to terminate their pregnancy