Shortly before Govt. Ron DeSantis delivered a highly publicized speech Tuesday morning touting his policy record as a Republican state legislator introduced a bill that would draw national attention to conservative change. DeSantis has seen in Florida: a proposal to ban abortion at six weeks of pregnancy.
DeSantis, a potential 2024 presidential candidate, did not comment on the legislation in his “State of the State” speech. But he nodded briefly 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 bill, SB 300, would ban abortion at six weeks of pregnancy, before many people even know they are pregnant.
The bill has exceptions up to the 15th week of pregnancy for people who become pregnant as a result of rape or incest, although they must prove they are victims by providing a restraining order, police report, medical record or “other court order or document”. Were. Requirements that are often difficult to meet.
The new bill also has exceptions to save the life of the mother and for fetuses with fatal abnormalities, before the third trimester, though the latter requires that two doctors “certify in writing” the abnormality.
Current Florida law bans 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 a 15-week ban in April, reducing the period that abortion was legal in the state from 24 weeks of pregnancy. After the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade in June, however, DeSantis repeatedly vowed to “expand pro-life protections.” And last month, he indicated he would sign a six-week ban if it came across his desk.
While running for Congress in 2012, DeSantis told the editorial board of a local newspaper that he was “open” to a federal “constitutional protection for life”.
A spokesman for DeSantis did not respond to additional questions from NBC News about the governor’s stance. But speaking to reporters after the speech, the governor said: “I mean, I think these exceptions are sensible. As I said, we welcome pro-life legislation.”
The bill, like most conservative proposals that will be working their way through the Legislature in the current session, is unlikely to face any meaningful resistance, as Republicans enjoy supermajorities in both chambers in Tallahassee.
However, the issue was not helpful to Republicans nationally in the 2022 midterms. Democrats retained the US Senate and faced a red wave in the House with a heavy focus on Republican plans to further crackdown on abortion rights.
In a statement Tuesday, Democratic National Committee chairman Jaime Harrison censured DeSantis.
“Time and time again, Ron DeSantis has made it clear that he will do anything in his run for the MAGA base, even if it means pushing for one of the strictest abortion restrictions in the country,” he said. . “For DeSantis and the MAGA Republicans, last year’s extreme ban isn’t enough — they’re hell-bent on going even further.”
The bill’s introduction, and DeSantis’ speech, came as the 2023 session of the Florida State Legislature focused on targeting transgender people, expanding gun rights and further restricting diversity efforts at public universities — all measures that shed light on the direction of a future DeSantis presidential bid.
DeSantis has touted his policy accomplishments in his national pitch in Florida Central as he seeks to elevate his profile. For example, his recent memoir often touts his achievements in Florida as a model of national policy. One chapter is also called “Make America Florida”, and he writes that “the blueprint for Florida” is “the blueprint for America’s revival”.
In his speech on Tuesday, DeSantis focused prominently on his leanings on education and the culture war issues related to transgender people.
“Our schools should give good education, not political education,” he said.
He stated that “our children are not guinea pigs for a science experiment,” and “we cannot allow people to make money from distorting them.”
However, the speech was thin on details of specific bills he wanted to move through the Legislature in the current session on those subjects, though several have already been introduced. For example, a pair of related bills in the State House and Senate, if enacted, would bar students, teachers, and other school employees from using pronouns that “do not correspond to the gender of that person.” ” Those bills would also expand parental rights in the education law, which critics call the “Don’t Say Gay” bill by banning students from teaching about sexual orientation and gender identity through the eighth grade (the current law extended through the third grade). has enforced such restriction through the category).
DeSantis, for his part, appeared to distance himself from any specific bill, telling reporters after his speech that lawmakers in Florida “have the right to file legislation,” but added, “I have filed does not control every single bill passed.”
DeSantis also focused heavily on how he kept the state largely open during the COVID-19 pandemic, while positioning himself as a vaccine skeptic (a break from his previous support for vaccine development and distribution). I carried forward.
“We disregarded the experts, we vilified the elite,” he said, running through a laundry list of conservative policy priorities such as expanding gun rights, cracking down on fentanyl distribution and trafficking, illegal immigration and anti-China bills. before.
DeSantis concluded his remarks by saying, “We find ourselves on the front lines in the fight for freedom in Florida.” And he ended with a subtle tease of his growing national image.
“I can promise you this,” he said. “You Is not Seen Nothin ‘Yet.”