DeSantis to consider ‘fetal heartbeat’ abortion ban in Florida like Texas

MIAMI – Gov. Ron DeSantis said on Thursday that he is going to consider following in the steps of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to implement anti-abortion laws. Abbott’s new controversial law prohibits abortions when the fetal heartbeat can be detected.

During a news conference to address early COVID treatment, DeSantis said he is pro-life and welcomes anti-abortion legislation. He said Texas used a “private right of action,” a private-lawsuit enforcement mechanism.

“What they did in Texas is interesting and I haven’t really been able to look at enough about it ... It’s a little bit different than how a lot of these debates have gone, so we will have to look. I am going to look more significantly at it,” DeSantis said.

Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson expects Republicans to introduce a similar bill for the next session. This would allow anti-abortion group members to file lawsuits against a medical provider that performs an abortion.

Critics, including Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union, view the Texas law as a violation of women’s constitutional rights.

On Wednesday night, the Supreme Court voted 5 to 4 not to side with abortion providers who filed an emergency appeal, therefore, allowing the law Abbott signed in May.

In response, President Joe Biden directed his administration to help “insulate women and providers” from the law in Texas. Attorney General Merrick Garland released a statement saying he was “deeply” concerned.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi said the House will vote on the Women’s Health Protection Act, federal legislation to protect women’s right to access abortion care nationwide through the protections of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark case.

Read the Supreme Court opinion

About the Authors:

Michael Putney came to Local 10 in 1989 to become senior political reporter and host of "This Week In South Florida with Michael Putney." He is Local 10's senior political reporter. 

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.