Former President Donald Trump is deriding Florida’s new abortion restrictions.
In an interview with The Messenger, Trump said that even “pro-lifers” think the new six-week abortion ban is “too harsh.”
“Well, he has to do what he has to do. If you look at what DeSantis did, a lot of people don’t even know if he knew what he was doing. But he signed six weeks, and many people within the pro-life movement feel that that was too harsh,” Trump told reporter Marc Caputo.
Trump was vague in saying his feelings about the law, meanwhile, focusing instead on the changes he brought to the Supreme Court.
“I’m looking at all alternatives. I’m looking at many alternatives. But I was able to get us to the table by terminating Roe v. Wade. That’s the most important thing that’s ever happened for the pro-life movement,” Trump said.
“For 50 years, they’ve been trying to get rid of Roe v Wade. I was able to do it. Nobody else could have done that but me. And I was able to do it (by nominating) three excellent judges on the Justices of the Supreme Court. And I was able to do that. What it did more than anything else is it gave us a tremendous power of negotiation, which we didn’t have, the pro-life movement, a tremendous power of negotiation. … Now the pro-life movement has the power to negotiate a deal that’s acceptable for them.”
DeSantis has messaged lightly around the new law, a change from the 15-week ban enacted the year before, one that is still being challenged in court.
“We have stood for life by enacting the heartbeat bill in the state of Florida,” he said in Utah in late April.
The Governor has addressed the law change with no more than one sentence in any speech given since he signed it last month.
Despite the six-week ban in most cases, the law allows for certain exceptions.
2022’s HB 5 made no exception for cases of rape and incest, a controversy at the time. However, the new bill would allow abortion up to the 15th week of pregnancy if the woman was impregnated by human trafficking, rape or incest or a combination thereof. That exception would include statutory rapes.
Other exceptions would apply. If two doctors judge the pregnant woman as in danger of dying or suffering “substantial and irreversible physical impairment of a major bodily function of the pregnant woman other than a psychological condition,” she could have an abortion. If only one doctor were available, that sole physician’s recommendation would suffice.
Likewise, if the fetus had a “fatal abnormality,” abortion would be permitted during the first two trimesters.
A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at AG@FloridaPolitics.com or on Twitter: @AGGancarski.