The White House on Thursday condemned Florida lawmakers for passing a law to outlaw abortions after six weeks of pregnancy, warning of broader consequences for women across the southern U.S.
White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said in a statement that the “extreme and dangerous” bill “flies in the face of fundamental freedoms and is out of step with the views of the vast majority of the people of Florida and of all the United States.”
“This ban would prevent four million Florida women of reproductive age from accessing abortion care after six weeks — before many women even know they’re pregnant,” Jean-Pierre said. “This ban would also impact the nearly 15 million women of reproductive age who live in abortion-banning states throughout the South, many of whom have previously relied on travel to Florida as an option to access care.”
Americans have made clear they don’t want the government weighing in on reproductive rights, Jean-Pierre argued, pointing to a series of state ballot measures to protect abortion access that have passed in the 10 months since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.
“Despite this, Republican elected officials continue their work to dismantle our fundamental freedoms, including through attempts to ban abortion nationwide,” Jean-Pierre said.
“President Biden and his Administration stand with women and physicians—and we will continue to fight to protect access to abortion and defend reproductive rights,” she continued.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who is expected to enter the 2024 presidential race in the coming weeks, signed into law a 15-week abortion ban last year, but he has said that he would support more restrictive measures and is expected to sign the latest piece of legislation.
The governor’s signature would put Florida among at least a dozen other states that have approved six-week abortion bans.
The restrictive bill in Florida is the latest blow to abortion-rights advocates, the White House and Democratic lawmakers.
A federal judge last week invalidated the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the abortion pill mifepristone. The Department of Justice on Thursday asked the Supreme Court for a rapid decision to pause the changes to the drug’s availability.