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Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops

Florida Bishops Praises Passage of Heartbeat Protection Act

April 13, 2023 | Today, the Florida legislature passed a prohibition on abortion in Florida after six- weeks gestation. The bill, SB 300, also contains provisions providing pregnancy and parenting support. Christie Arnold, associate for social concerns and respect life for the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops (FCCB) issued the following statement:

“With the passage of the Heartbeat Protection Act, life is better respected and protected in the early stages of development. While the bill contains exceptions to the six-week abortion ban, including for rape, incest or human trafficking, it remains a tremendous improvement over current law. As we look forward to a time when all abortions are unthinkable as well as illegal, we know that when this law’s abortion limits take effect tens of thousands of lives will be saved.

“Additionally, we commend provisions in the bill that seek to provide services and material support to pregnant women and their young children. An increase from $4 million to $25 million in state funding for vital pregnancy and parenting support will allow for increased opportunities to address the essential needs of mothers and families.

“We are grateful for the bill sponsors, Senator Erin Grall and Representative Jenna Persons-Mulicka, for their commitment to pregnant women and their unborn children, and for their courage to steer this pro-life measure through the committee process and final passage.

“We are also pleased that Gov. Ron DeSantis has indicated his support for further limitations on abortion and look forward to him signing the bill into law. The abortion restrictions in the bill will not go into effect unless the Florida Supreme Court rules to uphold a 15-week abortion ban passed in 2022. We are hopeful, however, that the Court’s decision will ultimately allow this law restricting abortion after six- weeks gestation to go into effect.”