Under a new law, abortions will be illegal in Florida at any point in a woman’s pregnancy if her doctor determines that the fetus could survive outside the womb.
Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Friday that redefines that state’s current third trimester abortion ban.
Current law prohibits abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy unless the mother’s life is at risk. The new law will require women to have a doctor determine whether a fetus is viable before having an abortion.
The law takes effect July 1. It keeps an exception if a mother’s life is at risk or to prevent irreversible physical impairment of a mother’s major bodily function.
One of Scott’s opponents for governor, Weston liberal Democrat Nan Rich, wasted little time in responding to the abortion bill. In an email to supporters issued immediately after Friday’s wave of bill signings, she decried the bill, saying that the new law was enacted over the “objections of nearly every group representing Florida women.”
“Every time we let our guard down on protecting women,” Rich added, “extremists go after our rights in Tallahassee. Electing a pro-choice governor really matters.”