Further Abortion Restrictions Could Come To Florida

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — As several states tighten access to abortion after the leaked draft ruling from the Supreme Court, at least one lawmaker said Florida could be next.

Fla. Rep. Mike Beltran, R-Lithia, said Sunday on Battleground Florida that “everything is on the table,” assuming the official court ruling is in line with the leaked draft when it is eventually released.

“We certainly could,” Beltran said when asked if he would introduce either a total ban on abortions, or a ban after six weeks of pregnancy. “The court said that this is vested in the states, and the people’s elected representatives, and is subject to the political process. I suspect that Florida, if not in the special session later this month, at some point, we will take another look and we will pass, I would anticipate, future legislation with further restrictions.”

Ahead of this year’s Florida legislative session, Fla. Rep. Webster Barnaby, R-Deltona, introduced a bill similar to the Texas law that allows private citizens to sue anyone who helps a woman get an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.

A Missouri lawmaker did the same in December, only her bill would’ve applied even if the abortion took place out of state. The bill didn’t pass, but a 2005 law applying to minors getting abortions out of state did. It was later narrowed by the Missouri supreme court.

On a call with other Florida Democratic leaders Tuesday morning, Fla. Rep. Anna Eskamani, D-Orlando, said she expects Republicans to introduce further restrictions, but not before this year’s midterm elections.

“It’s clear to me, Florida Republicans — including Governor Ron DeSantis — are super awkward and uncomfortable talking about an all-out ban,” Eskamani said.. “They want to avoid it as much as possible, because they know the second they commit to it, that it’ll wake up voters across the state of Florida, and that is not what they want to do before a November election.”

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