Last week, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said he does not support criminalizing women who receive abortions even after he signed a six-week abortion ban into law earlier this year that includes language that could be interpreted as such. DeSantis claimed, “We have no criminal penalty,” adding, “The penalties are for the physician.” He declined to say whether he would support a national ban.
The new law says “any person who willfully performs or actively participates in a termination of pregnancy” in violation of the law would face felony charges. Florida’s six-week ban has yet to go into effect while the current 15-week ban is still in place amid an ongoing legal challenge that is before the state Supreme Court.
Following DeSantis’ remarks, Senate Democratic Leader Lauren Book filed a bill to prevent pregnant women, girls, and sexual assault survivors from being criminally charged and imprisoned for obtaining abortion healthcareLeader Book’s “glitch bill” capitalizes on the Governor’s interpretation of this cruel and dangerous ban by clarifying and correcting Florida law to shield women from being criminalized or jailed over abortion.
“The imprisonment of women, girls, sexual assault survivors, and their doctors through dangerous abortion bans is cruel and anti-freedom,” says Leader Lauren Book, who was arrested earlier this year while peacefully protesting the bans. “The Governor has said ‘that will not happen in Florida’ – but we’re not just going to take his word for it, we’re fighting to ensure it.” If Ron is serious about protecting women from the unintended consequences of his actions, he should vocally support this clarifying language and join Florida Democrats in urging the Florida Legislature to send this bill to his desk during the 2024 legislative session.
Advocates from Floridians Protecting Freedom are fighting to put abortion on the ballot in 2024 to give voters the power to protect abortion rights until viability. The group has gathered more than 700,000 signed petitions – more than half of the nearly 1 million needed.
Sign the petition to put abortion access on Florida’s ballot HERE. Then, ask others to sign the petition too. We have copies for you at our office.