Biden says he won’t stand for Florida’s ‘dangerous’ 15-week abortion ban

Gov. Ron DeSantis said he would sign the bill.
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks in the East Room of the White House, May 21, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)
U.S. President Joe Biden speaks in the East Room of the White House, May 21, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) [ ALEX BRANDON | AP ]
Published March 4, 2022|Updated March 4, 2022

TALLAHASSEE — President Joe Biden says his administration “will not stand” for a 15-week abortion ban approved by the Florida Legislature.

Biden blasted Florida’s push to prohibit most abortions after 15 weeks with no exceptions for rape and incest in a tweet Friday morning.

“Last night, the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature passed a dangerous bill that will severely restrict women’s access to reproductive health care,” Biden wrote. “My administration will not stand for the continued erosion of women’s constitutional rights.”

Vice President Kamala Harris also issued a statement Friday, saying the “bill is extreme by any standard.”

“The right of women to make decisions about their own bodies is non-negotiable,” she said. “If signed into law, Florida’s bill would violate the constitutional right to abortion that the Supreme Court has recognized for nearly 50 years.”

The Florida Senate approved the ban Thursday night, sending it to Gov. Ron DeSantis. At a news conference in Jacksonville, DeSantis said he would sign the bill.

Related: Florida's 15-week abortion ban heads to DeSantis' desk

“I think the protections are warranted, and I think we’ll be able to sign that in short order,” he said Friday. He also said he considered an abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy to be “late term.”

Abortion is currently legal up to the 24th week of pregnancy in Florida.

Senate President Wilton Simpson predicted the measure will pass muster with the U.S. Supreme Court, which has become more conservative because of appointments made by former President Donald Trump.

The high court is expected to rule on Mississippi’s 15-week ban over the summer.

The legislation, with an effective date of July 1, would allow an abortion to be performed after 15 weeks only if two doctors certify a “fatal fetal abnormality” that will “result in death upon birth or imminently thereafter.” It also includes an exception if an abortion is “necessary to save the pregnant woman’s life” or avert serious bodily injury.

Related: These Florida parents chose abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Here's why.

Biden has clashed with Florida’s Republican leaders over other legislation. The White House denounced a measure known by opponents as the “don’t say gay” bill. That proposal seeks to limit classroom instruction on sexual orientation and gender identity and could get final approval as early as Tuesday.

Biden’s administration also supported school districts that imposed school mask mandates, which DeSantis opposed.

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