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The Florida House of Representatives passed a bill that would ban abortions after 15 weeks in the state 78-39 early Thursday morning, according to reports.
The bill will next go to the Senate and Gov. Ron DeSantis’ desk of his signature. The governor has shown support for the bill.
The vote came after more than five hours of passionate debate and a brief delay by protesters.
“We have the opportunity today to pass once-in-a-lifetime legislation to save lives. To save babies,” state Rep. Jenna Persons-Mulicka, a Republican sponsor of the bill said before the vote, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
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The bill follows other states like Mississippi and Texas that have passed similar abortion bans. The U.S. Supreme Court has signaled it will likely uphold Mississippi’s 15-week ban. Arizona and West Virginia also advanced 15-week bans this week.
The Florida House voted down amendments that would have made exceptions for rape, incest or human trafficking but included ones in cases of a fatal abnormality of the fetus or if the mother’s life or health is seriously threatened by the pregnancy.
“This is the right to life and to give up life is unconscionable to me,” said Republican Rep. Dana Trabulsy, who disclosed that she previously had an abortion but has “regretted it every day since.”
State Rep. Robin Bartleman, a Democrat, argued, “As a woman it is my right to make decisions about my body and what is in the best interest of my family. God forbid your 11-year-old is raped and pregnant and you find out after 15 weeks, you don’t get to get your daughter that abortion, that’s what this law says.”
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More than a dozen protesters shouting “My body, my choice!” were ejected from the chamber shortly before the vote, the Times reported.
Under the state’s current law abortion is legal until 24 weeks into pregnancy.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.