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Florida Gov. Ron DeSantisLifeSiteNews

(LifeSiteNews) — Florida’s Heartbeat Law took effect on Wednesday, May 1 at midnight, protecting unborn children and their mothers at six weeks of pregnancy.

The law, known as SB300 – Pregnancy and Parenting Support, makes Florida one of the most pro-life states in the nation.

“According to 2023 data from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, about one-third of all abortions in the South occurred in Florida,” according to a press release from the Liberty Counsel. “The data showed more than 9,300 of those abortions involved people who traveled from other states.”

Liberty Counsel founder and chairman Mat Staver envisioned Florida becoming a sanctuary for life. “The Heartbeat Law will save countless lives, some of whom may become world leaders in science, medicine, and technology that will benefit the world,” he said. “The Heartbeat Law protects the valuable lives of both the unborn child and the mother and provides a wide range of options and support for women. The Heartbeat Law will provide $30 million in public funds to help pregnant women and their children. Florida is now on the side of life.”

Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America predicted that 50,000 lives will be saved by the new law.

On the eve of the law taking effect, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis brushed off messaging from the Biden-Harris White House suggesting that the new law has put the Sunshine State back into play politically.

“I welcome Biden-Harris to spend a lot of money in Florida,” the governor said.

DeSantis has reason to be optimistic. Polling shows that 62 percent of likely Florida voters supported the Heartbeat Protection Act. Support is highest among Hispanic voters at 76 percent. Sixty-one percent of Independents and a whopping 58 percent of women support the law.

Laura Goodhue, executive director of Planned Parenthood in Florida – the largest abortion provider in the state – lamented that tens of thousands of pregnant women who otherwise would have had an abortion in Florida at one of their clinics will end up carrying a pregnancy to term, according to Politico.

In April 2023, DeSantis signed SB 300 into law, banning abortions after six weeks except in cases of rape or incest or allegedly for the mother’s life or health. Implementation of the new law was delayed due to a lawsuit by abortion defenders.

The Florida Supreme Court recently ruled 6-1 that there is no right to abortion in the Florida Constitution. The decision upheld the state’s current 15-week abortion law and allowed the Heartbeat Law to go into effect. Both the Heartbeat Law and the state’s 15-week law will be enforced together.

The Liberty Counsel further explains:

In addition, before an abortion is performed under any of the exception categories, Florida abortion laws require giving a pregnant woman an option to view an ultrasound, a 24-hour reflection period unless there is an emergency, and informed consent.

The law also requires doctors to use more than just an ultrasound to determine the gestational age of an unborn child. Doctors are now required to utilize a more objective physical measurement with calipers to measure “crown to rump” length, or top of the head (crown) to the bottom of the buttocks (rump), which can more accurately determine the unborn child’s gestational age.

In Florida, the penalty for health care providers performing an illegal abortion can result in the loss of their licenses to practice medicine.

The abortion industry and its supporters hope that an initiative on the November ballot – known as Amendment 4 – will loosen some of the newly introduced legal restrictions.

The 51 licensed abortion clinics in the state are outnumbered more than three to one by pregnancy centers located across the state where pregnant women and their families can receive aid and support.

Vice President Kamala Harris is expected to fly to Florida today to speak at a pro-abortion gathering in Jacksonville.