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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

On Monday, April 4, the Florida Senate voted to ban abortions after 6 weeks of pregnancy, the Heartbeat Protection Act. This has caused a massive uproar from reproductive rights activists, just adding fuel to the already burning fire that divides the state of Florida.

The bill passed in the State Senate in a vote of 26-13. The bill still has to pass the House in order to be sent to the Governor’s desk and become law, and it is expected to. Currently, in the State House, Democrats hold 35 seats and Republicans hold 84 — over double the amount of seats — giving Republicans a large advantage.

Sen. Erin Grall (R), who sponsored the bill, stated, “For decades now, Florida has been a nationwide leader in defending the rights of the unborn. The Heartbeat Protection Act will make Florida a beacon of hope for those who understand that life is sacred and must be protected.”

Florida Governor Ron Desantis — who is expected to run for President in the 2024 general election — has vowed to sign the bill if it is to come to his desk. If he is able to, this will likely be a big win for him among pro-life groups and boost his possible poll numbers.

The bill is not a total ban, though. S.B. 300 promises an exception for women whose lives are at risk by carrying the pregnancy to term, and an extension to 15 weeks for victims of incest, rape, and human trafficking. Florida already has an abortion ban after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

In the case of incest, rape, and human trafficking, a woman would have to “provide documentation such as a medical record, restraining order or police report” according to PBS.

The bill also requires that any abortion care must be provided in person by a medical doctor or osteopathic physician, even medication abortions which are currently able to be mailed to patients. Any physician or someone who “actively participates in” the procedure through this method would face a third-degree felony charge.

In response, many Democrats have protested against the bill, including the chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party, Nikki Fried, and Senate Minority Leader, Lauren Book (D). They were arrested on Monday under trespass after warning charges at a sit-in protest. According to Tallahassee Police Department, they were told to leave after sunset and refused to do so.

Book has been outspoken about the bill, arguing the possible life-threatening issues that will affect women if the ban were to become law. She even told the women of Florida to contact her office and read out her phone number on the Senate floor.

Many Democrats and pro-choice advocates point out that the 6 week mark of the ban is before many women know that they are even pregnant. Kara Gross of the ACLU of Florida stated that “[t]his bill will force pregnant individuals to remain pregnant against their will and endure labor, delivery, and all of the significant medical and financial risks associated with pregnancy and childbirth. This bill will unfairly and disproportionately impact people who live in rural communities, people with low incomes, people with disabilities, and people of color.”

Pro-choice Democrats are not taking this as a loss, however, but rather a reason to revamp the party. In an interview with CBS, Nikki Fried stated, “We are going to be showing back up, knocking back up on people’s doors, back in our communities, making sure that we’re organizing on the ground and that we are getting candidates up and down the ballot that are truly reflective of the values of the people of our state.”

S.B. 300 will make significant changes to the future of Florida. This bill will affect all Floridian women and girls, for better or worse.

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Reese Hrannarsson is a staff writer at the Her Campus at Florida State University chapter. She writes bi-weekly articles surrounding personal, culture, and campus topics. Beyond Her Campus, Reese is the Director of Finance for Florida State University's Women Student Union and the Secretary for the Women In Government club. She is a sophomore majoring in Political Science and Economics and is interested in working in government. In her free time, Reese enjoys going biking and spending time with family and friends. She also loves travelling and hopes to travel to every U.S. capital.