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Florida heartbeat law goes into effect, protecting unborn babies

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis Associated Press/Photo by Phil Sears, file

Florida heartbeat law goes into effect, protecting unborn babies

The state’s Heartbeat Protection Act went into effect on Wednesday, thirty days after Florida’s Supreme Court ruled that protections for unborn babies did not violate the state’s constitution. The bill was originally made law in April 2023. It contained a provision to take effect if the court upheld a separate state law to protect unborn babies after 15 weeks gestation.

What does the law do? The law protects unborn babies from abortion after they have detectable heartbeats, or around six weeks gestation, and increases funding for crisis pregnancy centers. Lawmakers passed the bill and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed it. WORLD contacted the Florida Pregnancy Care Network for a comment on the law being implemented but did not immediately receive a response.

How have pro-abortion groups reacted? In an email to WORLD, Planned Parenthood Vice President of Communications Michelle Quesada claimed the new law is devastating for Floridians. Many women don’t know they’re pregnant by the time their unborn child turns six weeks old, Planned Parenthood said in a statement.

What does the Biden administration have to say? Vice President Kamala Harris on Wednesday called the law extreme. Laws protecting unborn babies, like the one in Florida, are former President Donald Trump’s responsibility, she said. She was scheduled to speak in Jacksonville, Fla., later on Wednesday. Responding to her visit, the Florida Republican Party didn’t address abortion, instead criticizing the Biden administration’s policies on immigration and economics.

Dig deeper: Read Erin Hawley’s column in WORLD Opinions about the Florida Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the right to life in Florida.

Josh Schumacher

Josh is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. He’s a graduate of World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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