Gov. Ron DeSantis signs 15-week abortion ban into law in Kissimmee

KISSIMMEE, Fla. — Governor Ron DeSantis is in Kissimmee, where he is expected to sign Florida’s abortion ban bill into law.

In March, the Florida Senate passed House Bill 5, which prohibits abortion after 15 weeks.

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Read: Florida Republicans send 15-week abortion ban to governor

The bill also clarifies the term “gestation” to provide a more commonly understood and medically acceptable measurement of development, and expands programs to reduce fetal and infant deaths.

Sponsors of the bill said they chose the 15-week threshold because it’s the same time frame as an abortion ban passed by the state of Mississippi.

That ban is currently before the U.S. Supreme Court, which has yet to hand down a ruling.

Read: Florida Senate passes 15-week abortion ban

Activist John Stemberger attended the signing, calling the new law necessary to stop women from coming to Florida from places like Alabama and Mississippi for abortions

“It’s a very good move, a wise move, rational it’s a good policy and it’s good law” Stemberger said.

Reaction to the bill signing from opponents was swift.

State Rep. Anna Eskamani said the ban does nothing but put women in danger.

“An abortion ban does not end abortions it only forces women into unsafe decisions that could endanger themselves,” Eskamani said.

Charlie Crist, candidate for governor of Florida, released a statement ahead of DeSantis’s bill signing.

“Today is a solemn, dark day for women’s rights in Florida. Governor DeSantis has chosen to sign into law an unprecedented, unconstitutional attack on women that violates Roe v. Wade and endangers reproductive freedom across our nation. Women deserve the right to make decisions about their own bodies,” Crist said.

Read: Florida House passes bill to ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy

The law will go into effect on July 1.

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Matt Reeser

Matt Reeser, WFTV.com

Matt Reeser joined WFTV in 1998 as a news photographer and has worked for television stations in Kentucky and West Virginia.