Buoyed by apparent success in the first go-round, Republican lawmakers in Florida may move to tighten restrictions on abortion even more in 2023.
Following an increase in 2021, the second year of the pandemic, the number of abortions declined this year, according to state health officials.
According to LifeNews.com, pro-life advocates give much of the credit to the new law, enacted in April by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, banning the procedure in most cases after 15 weeks. The law took effect on July 1.
The Agency for Health Care Administration reported that as of Dec. 2, Florida had reported 68,217 abortions.
Admittedly, that was with almost a whole month left in the year. Still, the pro-life advocates cheered the initial drop compared to 2021.
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Last year, the procedure was performed 79,817 times — a drop of 11,600 abortions compared to 2021.
Florida reported 74,868 abortions in 2020.
The decrease for 2022 came even as, perhaps surprisingly, more out-of-state women came to Florida to have an abortion. With a month to go, there were almost 600 more abortions performed on women who were not Floridians, Life News noted.
Melanie Williams, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of Florida, told WLRN in Miami on Wednesday that her organization saw a surge in abortion requests after the overturning of Roe v. Wade earlier this year. That appeared to indicate women coming from states with tougher bans than Florida’s, such as Texas, Mississippi and Alabama.
But, as Life News noted, “The good news is the increase in abortions does not equal the drop in abortions in other states — meaning the abortion bans in surrounding states are saving the lives of thousands of babies.”
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Florida’s law does allow for exceptions to protect the health of the mother, but not for rape or incest, which make up fewer than 1% of all abortions.
On Wednesday, WLRN reported that new Florida Senate President Kathleen Passidomo supports an effort to reduce the ban to 12 weeks.
Back in July, a liberal circuit judge in Tallahassee ruled that the abortion ban was unconstitutional under Florida’s state Constitution. But the DeSantis administration appealed, and the law remained in effect while the case was pending.
It is now before the Florida Supreme Court.