What Is the Abortion Bill in Florida 2023?

The abortion ban bill, officially known as SB 300: Pregnancy and Parenting Support, or the “Heartbeat Protection Act,” was signed into law by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis in April of 2023.

But what does this law entail? And what does it mean for abortion access in Florida? Read on to learn more. 

The Details

SB 300 essentially makes any abortion after six weeks illegal in Florida (previously, the limit was 15 weeks). It’s called the “Heartbeat Protection Act” because a heartbeat can be detected in the womb as early as six weeks, so this bill aims to protect a pregnancy beyond this point. 

What the Act Prohibits

SB 300 forbids a physician from performing an abortion or dispensing abortion medications if the pregnancy is determined to be more than six weeks old. This means that the age of a pregnancy must be determined by ultrasound before an abortion can occur.

The bill also prohibits receiving abortion pills by mail; they must be sought in person and prescribed by a qualified physician.

However, the act does allow exceptions to the rule when the woman is seeking an abortion due to incest, rape, or human trafficking. These women can still access abortion when their pregnancies are up to 15 weeks old.

What the Act Encourages

The act goes beyond limiting abortions—it also encourages the expansion of pregnancy support services. It requires Florida’s Department of Health to manage and deliver parenting support services. 

Under the act, women up to 12 months postpartum can receive counseling, mentoring, educational classes, and material assistance for childcare-related items, such as diapers, formula, clothing, etc. 

What Does This Mean for Abortion Access in Florida?

At the time of writing this blog, SB 300, although signed into law, has not currently gone into effect. This is because a previous bill, HB 5: Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality Act, is being challenged in court. HB 5 makes abortions after 15 weeks illegal. If this act is upheld, it will pave the way for SB 300 to take effect in Florida.

What If I’m Considering Abortion?

If you’re facing an unplanned pregnancy and considering abortion, you’re likely feeling overwhelmed. At Coastal Choices Women’s Clinic, we understand what you’re going through, and we are here to help. You’re not alone in this. We offer no-cost pregnancy resources, including ultrasounds and pre-abortion screenings, that can help you make an informed decision moving forward. Contact us today to schedule a confidential appointment in a caring, non-judgmental environment.