Sat. May 18th, 2024

Florida ban on abortions after 6 weeks takes effect

By 37ci3 May1,2024

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A banning abortions after six weeks of pregnancy It went into effect in Florida after midnight on Wednesday.

Before that, the state a abortion sanctuary in the south After the Supreme Court overturned Roe-Wade. Florida banned abortions after 15 weeks in 2022, but so did the vast majority of neighboring states tighter restrictionsthus, last year more than 9,300 people traveled here for abortion treatment.

That’s more than double the number in 2020, according to the Guttmacher Institute, a research organization that supports abortion access. About 84,000 abortions were performed in Florida last year, which is about 1 in 12 abortions nationwide.

Florida’s new law will buck that trend. Abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, which is about two weeks after a missed period, is now a crime in the state. The ban includes exceptions for rape, consanguinity and human trafficking up to 15 weeks of pregnancy. State laws allow abortions to save a woman’s life or prevent “significant and irreversible” physical harm, but doctors may still worry about their legal liability.

The provider of the Presidential Women’s Center in West Palm Beach, Dr. Daniel Sacks, of the new law, said: “It will cause delays in care that will cost women serious health hazards or risks.”

Abortion providers in Florida worked see as many patients as possible weeks before the ban took effect. They said some patients are confused about Florida’s restrictions and timelines, especially considering it’s been nearly a year since Gov. Ron DeSantis signed the six-week ban. The policy was temporarily blocked earlier a state Supreme Court ruling last month paved the way for it to become law.

Florida also requires two clinic visits 24 hours apart before an abortion — a rule that some patients are unaware of.

Cassie, 20, of Florida, who asked that her last name be withheld to protect her privacy, had her first consultation at an abortion clinic in Fort Pierce on Monday. He didn’t know the six-week ban was scheduled to take effect two days later.

abortion patient
Cassie, 20, had an abortion in Florida this week.Mark Ringo/NBC News

“I knew they were trying to do it, but I didn’t know it was actually happening,” Cassie said.

She was less than six weeks pregnant, but she admitted she could have easily missed that period once the new law came into effect.

Cassie lives in an RV with her partner and 1-year-old son. He said that he wants another child, but now he cannot afford it.

“I won’t be able to provide for my son as well as I could,” she said, adding that a second child “will make it difficult to even pay for food or small expenses like car tires.”

On her way to the clinic on Monday, she stopped to confront a protester urging her to continue her pregnancy.

“The first thing I said was, ‘Will you help me and my family get a mortgage?’ he said.

She added that she feels for women in Florida who may now have to carry an unwanted pregnancy or travel long distances to get an abortion.

“It’s wrong to tell a woman that you have a certain amount of time to have an abortion,” he said. “I wish I could hug those women and help them.”

Abortion rights groups are celebrating the new law.

“Florida has made efforts to provide a pro-life sanctuary, providing significant financial resources to provide a broad range of options and resources that protect the most vulnerable and women, and facilitate decisions to choose life,” said Mat Staver. Founder and chairman of Liberty Counsel, a Florida-based legal organization that opposes abortion rights.

pointed out 25 million dollars The state has set aside a group of so-called crisis pregnancy centers to expand the Florida Pregnancy Care Network. Such centers try to persuade pregnant women not to have abortions and offer counseling and supplies, but some are known provide inaccurate or false information.

empty abortion clinic room examination table
An exam room at an abortion clinic in Jacksonville, Florida.Jorge Pujol/NBC News

Nine Southern states have abortion bans, and Georgia and South Carolina have abortion bans after about six weeks. So for people in Florida and elsewhere in the Southeast who want to terminate a pregnancy, closest options it is now likely to be in North Carolina and Virginia, where abortions are allowed up to 15 weeks.

The Florida Access Network, a foundation that helps people in Florida with abortions, including appointments, meals and travel expenses, was created for the wave of patients who need help with out-of-state abortions.

“We are living in a new reality where people will be forced to travel long distances to receive care, and many people do not have the resources or the ability to do so,” said Stephanie Loraine Piñeiro, the organization’s executive director. .

Woman’s Choice, a Jacksonville-based abortion clinic chain, opened a clinic in Virginia last month ahead of Florida’s ban. It also operates three clinics in North Carolina. But Kelly Flynn, the chain’s CEO, said those other locations won’t be realistic options for many people.

Before Florida’s ban went into effect this week, women from Mississippi and Louisiana came to the Jacksonville clinic for abortions, she said.

Going forward, Flynn said, the network plans to help women in the South understand their remaining legal options if they choose to have an abortion.

“When they call our call center, we’ll get them that information — we’ll try to help them with logistics, travel, food and gas to get them to North Carolina and Virginia,” he said.

Marissa Parra and Juliette Arcodia reported from Jacksonville and Aria Bendix from New York. Bracey Harris reported from Jackson, Mississippi.

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By 37ci3

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