Hours after the Supreme Court declined to block a disputed Texas abortion law, Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signaled that he is open to similar pro-life legislation.
The governor discussed Texas’ Heartbeat Act on Thursday at a West Palm Beach news conference after the Supreme Court on Wednesday denied abortion providers’ requests to block the law, which bans abortion after six weeks.
The new law allows any person to sue doctors, abortion clinics or anyone who “knowingly engages in conduct that aids or abets the performance or inducement of an abortion.”
“I’m pro-life,” DeSantis said.
“I welcome pro-life legislation. What they did in Texas was interesting, and I haven’t really been able to look at enough about it. They’ve basically done this through private right of action. So it’s a little bit different than how a lot of these debates have gone.”
“I’m gonna look more significantly at it,” he said.
“I’m pro-life, I welcome pro-life legislation … I’ve always been somebody that really does support protections for life.”
— King of Self-Awareness Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL) on Texas’s restrictive abortion bill pic.twitter.com/Hvi5khcNQK
— The Recount (@therecount) September 2, 2021
DeSantis said not to “read too much” into the Supreme Court ruling, adding that “they basically said it’s not right yet for a decision.”
“At the end of the day, the science on this has been very powerful now for a long time,” he said.
“If you go back forty years ago, what people thought versus what they can see now, it’s very powerful. So I’ve always been somebody that really does support protections for life as best as we can do it.”
Abortion advocates were outraged by the Texas law and the Supreme Court decision. A similar bill in Florida would only increase the frenzy, particularly ahead of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which the Supreme Court will begin hearing in October.
It will be one of the first major abortion cases heard by all three of former President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court appointees, including Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
DeSantis’ press secretary Christina Pushaw told the Daily Caller News Foundation on Thursday that although the governor is pro-life and thus open to legislation like the Heartbeat Act, he “needs some time to look into the new Texas law in more detail.”
Republican Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson told WFLA-TV on Thursday that lawmakers are “already working on” a heartbeat bill.
NEW: Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson tells me “there is no question” the Florida legislature will consider an abortion heartbeat bill like Texas’ in this upcoming session.
“It’s something we’re already working on.”
— Evan Donovan (@EvanDonovan) September 2, 2021
“The fact that the governor mentioned ‘the science’ supporting the pro-life position is important,” Pushaw said. “In the 1970s, not as much was known about the effects of abortion, but scientific knowledge has advanced in the last 40 years so we know much more today.”
“The more research is done about abortion, the more we learn about the risks and ethical problems it entails, independent of any religious teaching,” Pushaw continued.
“Support for the pro-abortion movement has always depended on convincing people that a fetus is just a ‘clump of cells,’ not a human, but advances in science have made that argument obsolete.”
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A version of this article appeared on the Daily Caller News Foundation website.
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