Moments before Gov. Ron DeSantis was to deliver a highly publicized speech Tuesday morning touting his policy record, a Republican state lawmaker introduced a bill that will bring more national attention to the conservative transformation DeSantis has overseen in Florida: a proposal to ban abortion at six weeks. of pregnancy

DeSantis, a likely 2024 presidential candidate, did not comment on the legislation in his «State of the State» address. But he briefly nodded to his anti-abortion credentials, saying, «We’re proud to be pro-family and we’re proud to be pro-life in the state of Florida.»

The invoice, SB 300would ban abortion at six weeks of pregnancy, before many people know they are pregnant.

The bill features exceptions up to the 15th week of pregnancy for people who became pregnant due to rape or incest, though they must prove they were a victim by providing a restraining order, police report, medical record, or «other court order or documentation.» . — requirements that are often difficult to meet.

The new bill also has exceptions for saving the life of the mother and, before the third trimester, for fetuses with fatal abnormalities, although the latter requires two doctors to «certify in writing» the abnormality.

Current Florida law prohibits abortion at 15 weeks, with exceptions for the life of the mother and for fetuses with fatal abnormalities, but not for rape or incest.

DeSantis signed that 15-week ban in April, reducing the length of time abortion was legal in the state from 24 weeks into the pregnancy. However, following the June Supreme Court ruling that struck down Roe v. Wade, DeSantis repeatedly promised to «expand pro-life protections.» And last month he indicated he’d sign a six-week ban if it made it to his desk.

While running for Congress in 2012, DeSantis told the editorial board of a local newspaper that he was «open» to federal «constitutional protection for life.»

A spokesman for DeSantis did not respond to additional questions from NBC News about the governor’s stance. But in comments to reporters after the speech, the governor said: «I mean, I think those exceptions are sensible. Like I said, we welcome pro-life legislation.»

The bill, like most conservative bills making its way through the Legislature in the current session, is unlikely to face significant resistance, as Republicans enjoy large majorities in both chambers in Tallahassee.

The issue was not helpful to Republicans nationally in the 2022 midterms, however. Democrats held on to the US Senate and fended off a red wave in the House in part by focusing largely on plans Republicans to continue to suppress the right to abortion.

In a statement Tuesday, Democratic National Committee Chairman Jaime Harrison was quick to link the ban to DeSantis.

“Time and time again, Ron DeSantis has made it clear that he will do anything in his MAGA base race, even if it means pushing through one of the strictest abortion bans in the country,” he said. «For the DeSantis and MAGA Republicans, last year’s extreme ban is not enough, they are hell-bent on going even further.»

The bill’s introduction and DeSantis’ speech came as the 2023 session of the Florida State Legislature began, with a focus on transgender people, expanding gun rights, and further restricting enforcement efforts. diversity at public universities, all measures that shed light on the direction of a potential DeSantis presidential run.

DeSantis has made his political achievements in Florida the center of his national discourse as he seeks to raise his profile. Recent memoirs of him, for example, frequently tout his achievements in Florida as role models for national politics. One chapter is even titled «Make America Florida» and writes that «the Florida model» is a «model for America’s renaissance.»

In his speech Tuesday, DeSantis focused prominently on his support for culture war issues related to education and transgender people.

“Our schools should provide a good education, not political indoctrination,” he said.

He added that «our children are not guinea pigs for scientific experimentation» and «we cannot allow people to make money mutilating them.»

The speech, however, was scant on details about specific bills he wanted introduced in the Legislature in the current session on those issues, even though many have already been introduced. For example, a pair of corresponding bills in the state Home and Senate If enacted, it would prohibit students, educators and other school employees from using pronouns that «do not correspond to that person’s sex.» Those bills would also expand the parental rights in education law that critics call the «Don’t Say Gay» bill by extending the ban on teaching students about sexual orientation and gender identity through eighth grade ( the current law implemented such a prohibition up to the third degree). qualification).

DeSantis, for his part, appeared to distance himself from any specific bill, telling reporters after his speech that Florida lawmakers «have the right to introduce legislation,» but added: «I don’t check every bill that’s been introduced. «. «

DeSantis also focused heavily on how he kept the state largely open during the covid-19 pandemic, while further positioning himself as a vaccine skeptic (a break with its previous support for the development and distribution of vaccines).

“We defy the experts, we defy the elites,” he said, before going over a laundry list of conservative political priorities, including expanding gun rights, cracking down on fentanyl distribution and smuggling, illegal immigration and bills against China.

“We are in Florida on the front lines in the battle for freedom,” DeSantis said toward the end of his remarks. And he closed with an unsubtle mockery of his growing national profile.

“I can promise you this,” he said. «You haven’t seen anything yet.»

Por admin