Adoptions With Love Blog

The New Abortion Laws in Florida (Updated 2023): What Expectant Mothers Should Know

The news around Florida’s abortion laws, and abortion laws across the United States, is evolving daily. If you have any questions about the latest abortion law information, please do not hesitate to call Adoptions With Love.

The changing laws regarding abortion – in several states – continue making headlines. Florida is among the latest states to be re-added to this highly debated conversation. As of this writing, Florida now prohibits abortions after six weeks of gestation.

This new legislation restricts abortion rights significantly. Previously, in July 2022, the abortion ban in Florida was set to prohibit abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.

The new six-week ban does give exception to cases of rape, incest, and human trafficking, but only until week 15 of pregnancy, and only if the victim provides a police report or other official document deemed “acceptable.”

Many lawmakers and healthcare rights advocates have been fighting these restrictions since Roe v. Wade was reversed. One synagogue in Florida even filed a lawsuit against the state over the 15-week abortion ban, citing that it violates the Jewish faith. The frequent changes in these abortion laws continue to leave many Floridians uncertain of what will happen to their rights.

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy in Florida, you may have many questions surrounding the abortion laws in Florida, and what it will mean for you. The first thing to know is that you still have options. Read on, as we break down what the new Florida abortion law covers, what it means for expectant mothers and medical providers, and the many options available to women residing in Florida today.

The New Florida Abortion Law & How it Works

On Thursday, April 13, 2023, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the state’s most restrictive abortion regulations since abortion became a constitutional right in 1973.

The six-week ban was not expected to go into effect until Florida’s Supreme Court overturned the previous abortion ban. Under that previous ruling, Floridians could only obtain an abortion before their 15th week of gestation, no matter the circumstances behind conception. The only exception to this abortion restriction is the life-risk of mother and fetus.

Under the new law, most abortions in Florida will be banned after six weeks. As medical professionals would argue, six weeks of pregnancy is very early to detect pregnancy at all. Most women do not know they are pregnant until after they surpass this point of gestation.

Victims of rape, incest, and human trafficking may be able to get an abortion in Florida up until the 15-week mark, but only if they have a medical record, police report, restraining order, or other acceptable evidence.

The new legislation also bans physicians from prescribing abortions via telehealth visits. It also requires abortion medication to be dispensed by a doctor, not by mail.

Florida is one of several states to enact abortion restrictions since the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Is Abortion Still an Option in Florida?

Maybe. For some, there are still three, basic choices for women facing an unplanned pregnancy in Florida: abortion, adoption, or parenthood.

The new abortion ban in Florida will not go into effect until 30 days after the state’s Supreme Court rules on a challenge to the its existing 15-week ban. However, the makeup of the Florida Supreme Court is heavily shaped by DeSantis and his conservative influence, so it is highly likely that the ban will go into effect soon.

Until then, Florida residents continue to have rights regarding termination. Abortions may be obtainable for rape victims up until the 15th week of pregnancy. Beyond 15 weeks – which is three months and three weeks – abortion is prohibited unless there is a life-threatening risk to the birth mother and/or fetus.

Under the new Florida abortion laws, medical providers who fail to comply with this new law would be found guilty of a third-degree felony, unless the abortion results in the death of the expectant mother. In that case, the medical providers would face a second-degree felony charge.

If you are facing an unplanned pregnancy in Florida and want an abortion past the six-week mark, you may still have this option, but you may have to travel to another state. It is important, if seeking an abortion, to obtain one safely and with a medical professional. Never seek help from someone who is not qualified as a healthcare professional. If you cannot afford to travel for an abortion, there are resources that can help.

The groups listed above can help you with travel, lodging, and medical appointments if you need an abortion in Florida.

Adoption is Still an Option in Florida

Another option for women facing an unplanned pregnancy is adoption. We understand that adoption is not an alternative to abortion. We support expectant mothers and their right to choose. For those not ready to become a parent now, however, adoption is available. Adoption is available at any stage of pregnancy, no matter whether you are in your first, second, or third trimester (or have already given birth).

Adoption allows you to give your baby a loving family and a stable life full of opportunity. It means you will terminate your rights as a parent, and choose a family who is ready and able to care for your child.

Adoption is a positive choice for anyone who is not yet ready or does not want to parent. This choice, while difficult, offers many benefits for expectant/birth mothers. It can bring expectant/birth mothers peace of mind to know their child is placed in a safe, stable, and loving home. It also gives birth mothers the chance to work on their personal and professional goals, all while knowing their child is living a happy life filled with opportunity.

Through open adoption options, many birth mothers can continue to stay in touch with their child over the years. Choosing adoption does not mean “goodbye forever.” With an open adoption plan, you can arrange to meet with your child’s adoptive family from time-to-time or receive phone calls, emails, or letters with updates. The form and frequency of communication may be determined with you, the expectant/birth mother, and an adoption professional can help guide you as you determine what type of plan will work best for you and meet your needs.

Pregnant in Florida? Get the Support You Deserve

At Adoptions With Love, we understand that facing an unplanned pregnancy is difficult and emotional. The changes to Florida abortion laws can be confusing to navigate, and scary or frustrating to those who are facing an unplanned pregnancy. We know that it can be hard to understand your rights as an expectant/birth mother – particularly at this challenging time.

You deserve support, no matter how far along you are in your pregnancy. Whether you are considering adoption or abortion, there is help available to you.

Adoptions With Love supports expectant/birth mothers in all their decisions, at all stages of pregnancy. We believe you deserve to have choices regarding your body and your baby. As a private adoption agency in Florida, we are here to provide unbiased support and free education throughout your unplanned pregnancy.

If you choose adoption, we can help you create an adoption plan in Florida. We can discuss your options as an expectant mother in Florida and connect you with the resources you need to make the best possible decision for you and your child. We are here for you.

If you would like to learn more about adoption or your choices in this journey, do not hesitate to contact Adoptions With Love. We can discuss your options and will listen to you, free from judgment, pressure, and always free of charge, too.

Call us any time at 800-722-7731, text us confidentially at 617-777-0072, or contact us online. We can help you navigate the adoption journey every step of the way.

Disclaimer (May 2024): Adoptions With Love is an experienced, licensed adoption agency that has been serving expectant/birth mothers in Florida since 1986. Adoptions With Love works hand-in-hand with certified adoption attorneys and compassionate counselors in the state of Florida. If you are in need of adoption assistance in Florida, you may reach out to AWL for help.