Thousands travel to Florida for abortions despite bans in neighboring states

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JThousands of out-of-state residents have already traveled to Florida this year for abortions, putting the state on track to surpass last year’s out-of-state total.

As of July 6, 2,548 out-of-state abortions have been performed in Florida. By comparison, the total for all of 2021 for out-of-state abortions was 4,900, according to Florida Agency for Health Care Administration data obtained by CBS.

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Despite some legal challenges, the Republican-controlled state enforces a law that prohibits abortions after 15 weeks, except in cases of life-threatening or serious injury to the mother or fetal abnormalities. In both cases, two doctors must sign the procedure.

Meanwhile, neighboring states have implemented more restrictive measures, sending some women from out of state to have in-state abortions. South Carolina currently prohibits abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, with some exceptions.

“We’ve already seen patients from Georgia, Alabama, Louisiana and as far away as Texas,” Christina Noce, director of communications for Planned Parenthood of South, East and North Florida, told First Coast News.

Andrew Shirvell, the founder of Florida Voice for the Unborn, argued that the state was becoming a “destination” for abortion after the Supreme Court overturned. Roe vs. Wade last month, paving the way for states to pass restrictive legislation or near-total bans on abortion.

“Florida is becoming an abortion destination state here in the South,” Shirvell said. “We need a total ban on abortions here.”

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Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and other top state lawmakers have voiced support for limiting abortion access in the state.

“Millions of people have had their prayers answered,” DeSantis said. tweeted last month. “Florida will continue to defend its recently enacted pro-life reforms against state legal challenges, work to expand pro-life protections, and defend life by promoting adoption, fostering and child protection. childhood.”

DeSantis praised the 15-week abortion law, saying it “represents the most significant protections for life in the state’s modern history.”

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