Gov. Ron DeSantis, Dec. 15, 2022, at a news conference in Fort Lauderdale. Credit: Issac Morgan
On the abortion front Thursday, Gov. Ron DeSantis was asked, once again, about his stances on further abortion restrictions. He shied away from specifics at a press conference in Fort Lauderdale.
The governor responded to a question from the crowd about whether he is willing “to take the lead” regarding the “heartbeat bill” in Florida.
For reference, a so-called “heartbeat bill” tends to refer to abortions conducted around six-week in pregnancy.
DeSantis didn’t go into detail about potential legislation, but he said, “I’m willing to sign great life legislation. That’s what I’ve always said I would do.”
Currently, Florida has a 15-week aborition ban.
DeSantis is strongly considered a potential 2024 GOP presidential candidate, and aborition is likely to be a major topic in a presidential race.
That issue was raised by reporter during a Thursday media availability with Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo.
She said she has not had a conversation with DeSantis on abortion, instead focusing on issues such as property insurance reforms recently passed in the special session this week.
However, Passidomo reiterated Thursday her stance on abortion restrictions. She mentioned a preference for a 12-week ban with exceptions for victims of rape or incest.
During the 2022 legislative session, Passidomo advocated to include a rape and incest exemption.
“I was pretty vocal about it — sometimes I talk too much, but I say what I feel — and I felt we should have included an exception for rape and incest in the 15-week bill that we passed,” Passidomo told the media Thursday.
When asked about the rationale of her preference for a 12-week ban compared to the current 15-week ban, she said that most abortions are conducted by 12 weeks of pregnancy.
According to November data, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration reported that 56,648 abortions were performed before the end of the first trimester in 2022, or the “period of time from fertilization through the end of the 11th week of gestation.”
That’s 91.4 percent of the total 61,956 abortions conducted in that year.
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