FRIDAY, April 14, 2023 (HealthDay News) -- Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Thursday signed a bill that bans abortions in that state after six weeks, with exemptions only given up to 15 weeks for rape, incest, and the life and health of the pregnant woman.
The new law will impact women in the state, as well as those in the region where many have traveled to Florida to access abortions when they have been unable to do so in their own states, NBC News reported.
DeSantis had previously signed a 15-week abortion ban last year. That ban is now before the Florida Supreme Court, which means the latest ban is also on hold until the court rules on the earlier ban. All Republicans in the Florida Senate voted for the law, with the exception of two freshmen lawmakers in swing-seat areas, NBC News reported.
Florida has seen an increase in abortions ever since Roe v. Wade was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court and abortions have been restricted in nearby states, NBC News reported. Women seeking abortions increased from 3,988 in 2020 to 6,708 in 2022, according to the state's Agency for Health Care Administration.
The White House had earlier noted the proposed six-week ban.
"The President and Vice President believe women should be able to make health care decisions with their doctors and families -- free from political interference," White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement when the bill was filed in March, NBC News reported. "They are committed to protecting access to reproductive care, and continue to call on Congress to restore the protections of Roe v. Wade in federal law."