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 – have been making headlines. Florida is among the latest states to be added to this highly debated conversation. As of this writing, Florida prohibits abortions after 15 weeks of gestation, starting July 1, 2022.
This means that it is illegal to terminate a pregnancy after 15 weeks. This new law does not give exception to cases of rape, incest, human trafficking, or mental health. The only exception is if the pregnant person is at risk of dying or experiencing “irreversible” physical injury, or the fetus has fatal abnormalities.
Many lawmakers and healthcare rights advocates are fighting this ruling. A synagogue in Florida is suing the state over this new law, citing that it violates the Jewish faith. The changes with these laws leave many women in Florida 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 2022, 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 14, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the state’s most restrictive abortion regulations since abortion became a constitutional right in 1973.
Starting July 1, 2022: Abortions are now banned in the State of Florida after the 15-week mark of pregnancy. This means that women in Florida may only get an abortion prior to 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.
The “Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality” law makes the following changes to Florida law:
- It redefines “gestation” from being described as the phase “between fertilization and birth” to “as calculated from the first day of the pregnant women’s last menstrual period.”
- It moves the timeframe of a legal pregnancy termination from before the third trimester (24 weeks, which is two weeks before the end of the second trimester) to “gestational age of 15 weeks.”
- Terminations are completely banned after the 15-week mark unless two physicians put in writing that, in reasonable medical judgment, ending the pregnancy is needed:
- To save the pregnant person’s life, OR
- To avoid serious risk of substantial and irreversible physical impairment of the woman, “other than psychological,” OR
- If the fetus is not viable and two physicians acknowledge in writing that the fetus has a fatal abnormality.
The new law also requires a monthly report to be sent to the Agency for Health Care Administration by the director of any medical facility where abortions are performed. These reports must include the reason for the abortion, the gestation age, the number of infants born alive or alive immediately following an attempted abortion, the number of medical abortion regimens prescribed or distributed, and any evidence the person who was pregnant may have provided that they are/were a victim of human trafficking.
Florida is one of several states to enact abortion restrictions within the past year.
Is Abortion Still an Option in Florida?
There are still three, basic choices for women facing an unplanned pregnancy in Florida: abortion, adoption, or parenthood.
Florida residents continue to have a right to decide whether and when to become a parent, and that includes the right to termination. At this time, abortion is legal in Florida 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 newly passed Florida abortion laws, medical providers who fail to comply with this new law would be found guilty of a third-degree felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
Adoption is Still an Option in Florida
Another option that women facing an unplanned pregnancy may consider is adoption. For those who are not ready to become a parent at this time, adoption is available. Adoption can offer benefits for everyone in the adoption triad, including expectant/birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive families.
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 up to date 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 a 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.