Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis said last week he could see himself supporting Texas-style abortion legislation. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a “heartbeat bill” banning abortions as early as six weeks, which is considered the time when a fetus develops a heartbeat and can be heard through an ultrasound.
The Texas bill, SB 8, officially came into effect on September 1 after the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) denied an appeal from abortion providers.
DeSantis said it was “interesting” and he was “going to look more significantly at it.”
Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson (R-10) said the legislature is already working on legislation similar to Texas’ law.
Simpson’s Republican leadership colleague, House Speaker Chris Sprowls, did not specifically reference a heartbeat bill, but said he was definitely going to continue to work to advance pro-life bills in Florida’s legislature.
“In Florida, we agree that killing an innocent human being with a beating heart is wrong,” said Sprowls. “It is why we have worked every session to strengthen protections for unborn babies, including those for unborn children with disabilities last session, and it is why I am confident that those who share this moral view in the Florida House will continue the fight.”
State Rep. Anthony Sabatini (R-32) has also thrown his support behind a heartbeat bill, promising to introduce a bill banning abortions when a heartbeat is detected.
It’s time to pass the Texas “Heartbeat” Bill in Florida—stay tuned. #ProLife
— Rep. Anthony Sabatini (@AnthonySabatini) September 1, 2021
DeSantis has previously shown support for pro-life positions, like in July when he signed his name along with 10 other Republican governors in a brief calling on SCOTUS to overturn the landmark abortion case, Roe v. Wade.
The brief argues abortions should not be a federally regulated issue and should be left to the states.
Pro-abortion advocates and Democrats in Florida have voiced their opposition to the Texas law and potential bills brought to the floor of the Florida legislature.
Most recently, Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried (D) tweeted her history as being “pro-choice” her entire life, taking a jab at Congressman Charlie Crist (D-FL-13) for previously talking about his pro-life views when he was a Republican governor for Florida.
I’m the only candidate running for governor in Florida that’s been pro-choice my whole life and never sacrificed women’s health for political gain.
— Nikki Fried (@NikkiFried) September 2, 2021
Fried and Crist are both vying for the Florida Democratic nomination for governor in 2022.
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Grant Holcomb is a reporter at the Florida Capital Star and the Star News Network. Follow Grant on Twitter and direct message tips.
Photo “Ron DeSantis” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Photo “Embryo Week 9-10 by lunar caustic. CC BY 2.0.