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Florida’s New Abortion Law: Four Things to Know about DeSantis’ Holistic Pro-Life Plan


“While pro-abortion activists scream that pro-lifers ‘don’t care about babies outside the womb,’ Florida’s leaders are putting a mirror to these charges and proving them false. These policies are providing the support needed to make it easier for expecting mothers to not only continue the pregnancy but also to keep and raise her child.”


The mainstream media had a field day over Florida’s move last week to implement a ban on abortion after six weeks, becoming the latest state to enact and enforce laws to reduce the number of preborn children killed in the United States. They, of course, called it draconian and just one more example of how pro-life politicians are only interested in hurting women with pro-forced birth policies, even though 62 percent of Floridians, including 58 percent of women, support the protections.

Moreover, in enacting a “heartbeat” abortion law in the Sunshine State, Florida Gov Ron DeSantis, R, and the Florida legislature have also brought about a number of other pro-life and pro-family policies that will provide the support and financial resources women need to not only thrive during pregnancy but also to fully care for their new baby during that first crucial year.

For years, Florida was so liberal in its abortion policies that thousands of women traveled there from out of state to obtain abortions, including late-term abortions. Just before the Dobbs ruling, Florida passed a 15-week abortion ban, but that law is currently being challenged in court.

In 1989, the Florida Supreme Court ruled that the right to abortion is protected by a Floridian’s right to privacy under Article 1, Section 23, of the Florida constitution.

Currently, the court is considering whether or not to uphold its prior ruling, which aligned with the precedent set by Roe v. Wade, or if, in light of the Supreme Court’s negating that legal reasoning in the Dobbs case, that right should be overturned.

If the latter happens, the Heartbeat Protection Act will go into effect 30 days after the ruling comes down.

In a statement released last week, DeSantis emphasized the work the state legislature has done to reduce child sacrifice in the state of Florida and encourage mothers to embrace life.

“We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida,” the statement read. “I applaud the Legislature for passing the Heartbeat Protection Act that expands pro-life protections and provides additional resources for young mothers and families.”

While pro-lifers see this as a step forward from Florida’s 15-week abortion ban, there is much more for Floridians to know about this bill, along with other measures enacted by DeSantis’ administration, and what exactly they mean for women facing unexpected pregnancies.

1. The Heartbeat Protection Act lowers the abortion restriction from 15 weeks’ gestation to a detectable heartbeat.

The highlight of this bill is, of course, that the new abortion restriction prohibits abortions after a heartbeat is detected, typically around 6 weeks gestation. This is good news, considering that most women don’t know that they’re pregnant until after a heartbeat is developed. One immediate effect of this law is that it will help to reduce incidents of “abortion tourism” wherein women have been traveling to Florida from more restrictive states in order to receive abortions.

The second effect is that this is a victory for those babies whose lives will be saved as a result of this measure — though not all of them. Babies younger than six weeks’ gestation, babies conceived in rape or incest, and babies deemed a threat to the health of their mothers will continue to face cruelty and death in the state of Florida.

2. The Heartbeat Protection Act expands funding for pregnancy networks.

Not surprisingly, the media conveniently overlooked the fact that this bill allocates $25 million to Florida Pregnancy Care Network, Inc., a network of Florida pregnancy resource centers that assist more than 76,000 women, men, children, and families each year. Contrary to what U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., might suggest, these pregnancy centers are pro-woman and pro-child.

They provide everything from free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and medical exams to food, diapers, and clothing to counseling, parenting and financial classes, and financial assistance for housing and utilities. Not only will pregnant and postpartum women benefit from this funding, but adoptive families are also eligible to receive free resources, including baby items and educational materials.

3. Florida’s 2023 budget provides for tax cuts, Medicaid extensions, and other pro-family programs.

Permanent tax cuts introduced as part of this year’s Framework for Freedom Budget include the elimination of sales tax on baby essentials like diapers, wipes, cribs, and strollers. In addition to that, DeSantis has proposed that Florida families receive a one-year sales tax exemption for children’s books, toys, everyday household items, and children’s athletic equipment, along with permanent tax exemptions for medical supplies, equipment, and over-the-counter pet medications.

4. Medicaid extension offers postpartum care and support to women.

Although this isn’t part of the new Heartbeat Protection Act, Florida has been pushing pro-life policies for some time. Two years ago, it passed a law to ensure that low-income mothers have access to long-term postpartum healthcare. While federal guidelines offer Medicaid-eligible women just two months of insurance after they give birth, DeSantis signed a measure in 2021 that extends postpartum care via Medicaid through the entire first year after the women deliver their babies. In effect, this extension is intended to reduce maternal and infant mortality rates in the state of Florida.


Gov. DeSantis and the Florida legislature are setting a positive precedent for other state governments looking for ways to encourage and incentivize families in their states. While pro-abortion activists scream that pro-lifers “don’t care about babies outside the womb,” Florida’s leaders are putting a mirror to these charges and proving them false. These policies are providing the support needed to make it easier for expecting mothers to not only continue the pregnancy but also to keep and raise her child.

Still, there is more work to be done to protect the children who remain unprotected and vulnerable to legal murder inside the womb.

It’s easy to call a heartbeat law a victory. After all, tens of thousands of babies will be protected as a result of Florida’s new law. Even still, this move by the state of Florida doesn’t protect all preborn lives. The philosophy of pro-aborts who believe that lives outside of the womb matter more than lives inside of the womb is the same philosophy which guides any lawmaker who works to protect babies at 6 weeks’ gestation over babies at 4 weeks’ gestation. However seemingly noble the effort, it is fundamentally inconsistent with the idea that life has inherent value.

While science might agree that a heartbeat begins around 6 weeks’ gestation, science also agrees that life begins at fertilization. Therefore, pro-life lawmakers may be motivated by the goal of reducing abortions, but the legal murder of preborn children has yet to be completely outlawed in their states. (And, as long as abortion pills are legal in the state of Florida, women can still obtain a means to abort their babies by mail.)

In order to end abortion altogether, lawmakers must recognize four very basic things: that life begins at conception; that life has inherent value; that the taking of that life is murder; and that murder requires justice. This is the only truly biblical approach because it is the only approach which offers abortive women, abortion doctors, husbands and boyfriends of abortive women, and abortion advocates true freedom from the burden of their sins through the gospel of Jesus Christ.

And this is the approach we must pray that pro-life legislators begin to adopt.

We must pray that they recognize that all people have inherent value, not because they are human, but because God created them in His image, forming their inward parts, and knitting them together from the time they were conceived in the womb (Genesis 1:27, Psalm 139:13-14). For this reason, all people are deserving of equal protection, even as an embryo.

God shows no partiality, so neither should we (Acts 10:34). We must pray that legislators recognize that it is unjust to show partiality in protecting some lives over others by showing favor to babies over six weeks gestation and leaving babies under six weeks gestation to die gruesome deaths.

Murder requires punishment (Matthew 5:21). And the government was instituted by God to wield the sword against murderers (Romans 13:4). His justice requires it. We must pray that lawmakers are convicted of this fact and move swiftly to ensure justice is upheld for innocent preborn babies.

Finally, we must pray that pro-life legislators recognize their duty to rescue those being led away to death (Proverbs 24:11) and are convicted by their responsibility given to them by God to protect all preborn humans. To rescue some and not others, when the power to do so is in their hands, is sin.

Follow Reagan on Twitter! @thereaganscott

Ready to dive deeper into the intersection of faith and policy? Head over to our Theology of Politics series page where we’ve published several long-form pieces that will help Christians navigate where their faith should direct them on political issues.

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