Florida Heartbeat Law Takes Effect Tomorrow

Apr 30, 2024

Florida’s Heartbeat Law will take effect on Wednesday, May 1 and will protect unborn children and their mothers at six weeks of pregnancy. The law, titled SB300 – Pregnancy and Parenting Support, makes Florida one of the most pro-life states in the nation.

At midnight, Florida will join Georgia and South Carolina in having an active law with six-week heartbeat protections. The law will increase widespread protections in the Southeast since Florida’s other closest neighbors of Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana all have laws that protect unborn babies from the moment of conception.

According to 2023 data from the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, about one-third of all abortions in the South occurred in Florida. The data showed more than 9,300 of those abortions involved people who traveled from other states.

The law’s implementation follows the Florida Supreme Court which recently ruled 6-1 that there is no right to abortion in the Florida Constitution. The decision upheld the state’s current 15-week abortion law and allowed the Heartbeat Law to go into effect. Both the Heartbeat Law and the state’s 15-week law will be enforced together. 

The Heartbeat Law includes exceptions, such as rape, incest, and human trafficking, all of which must be officially documented. The law retains the exceptions from the 15-week law, such as: to preserve the life of the mother, which includes ectopic pregnancies; fatal abnormalities where the unborn baby is unexpected to survive outside the womb; and to “avert a serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment or a major bodily function of the pregnant woman other than a psychological condition.” 

In addition, before an abortion is performed under any of the exception categories, Florida abortion laws require giving a pregnant woman an option to view an ultrasound, a 24-hour reflection period unless there is an emergency, and informed consent. 

The law also requires doctors to use more than just an ultrasound to determine the gestational age of an unborn child. Doctors are now required to utilize a more objective physical measurement with calipers to measure “crown to rump” length, or top of the head (crown) to the bottom of the buttocks (rump), which can more accurately determine the unborn child’s gestational age. 

In Florida, the penalty for health care providers performing an illegal abortion can result in the loss of their licenses to practice medicine. 

The Heartbeat Law will also provide $30 million in reoccurring state funding to support pregnant women and their families. This support includes: 

  • Clothing
  • Cribs
  • Car Seats
  • Formula
  • Diapers
  • Pregnancy Testing
  • Counseling (for mothers and fathers)
  • Mentoring
  • Education Materials
  • Pregnancy Classes
  • Parenting Classes
  • Adoption Classes
  • Life Skills Training
  • Employment Readiness
  • Wellness Services 

Florida also has 167 pregnancy centers across the state where pregnant women and their families can receive aid and support. 

Liberty Counsel Founder and Chairman Mat Staver said, “On May 1, Florida will become a sanctuary for life. The Heartbeat Law will save countless lives, some of whom may become world leaders in science, medicine, and technology that will benefit the world. The Heartbeat Law protects the valuable lives of both the unborn child and the mother and provides a wide range of options and support for women. The Heartbeat Law will provide $30 million in public funds to help pregnant women and their children. Florida is now on the side of life.”       

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