Florida abortion clinics prepare for six-week abortion ban to take effect in 29 days

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Expanded abortion access will be on the ballot in November, but before then, Floridians will see access further reduced down to just six-weeks into a pregnancy in most cases.


Because the Florida Supreme Court upheld the state’s current 15-week abortion ban, the more restrictive six-week ban will take effect in 29 days and clinics here in Jacksonville and around the state are preparing for the new restrictions.

[DOWNLOAD: Free Action News Jax app for alerts as news breaks]

Since Roe V Wade was overturned Florida has seen a nearly 60 percent surge of out of state patients traveling to the Sunshine state for care.

Amber Gavin with A Woman’s Choice clinic in Jacksonville said when the six-week ban takes effect, women in Florida and throughout the South will have to travel as far as North Carolina and Virginia.

“We’re working really closely with abortion funds to help people pay for travel, childcare, lodging and get the care that they need and they want,” said Gavin.

But the restriction could be short lived.

RELATED: Florida Supreme Court greenlights abortion access amendment, potentially paving way for 6-week ban

In November, voters will have the opportunity to cast a ballot on Amendment 4, which would return access to reproductive care to levels seen before Roe V Wade was overturned.

But the effort is immediately receiving pushback from Florida Republicans like House Speaker Paul Renner (R-Palm Coast) who claim it would go much further.

“It is carefully crafted to allow abortion on demand at any time, for any reason including late term abortions, as I said, obliterating any concept of parental consent. Things that have wide popularity among many Floridians that would consider themselves pro-choice,” said Renner.

Renner argued the six-week ban better reflects Floridians’ attitudes towards abortion.

RELATED: Abortion access, recreational pot on Florida ballot, state court clears path for 6-week abortion ban

“We also have broad exceptions for rape, incest, human trafficking, the life of the mother, fetal abnormalities and so, it is a compromise that addresses where I think many Floridians are,” said Renner.

But House Minority Lead Fentrice Driskell (D-Tampa) argued the implementation of the six-week ban only stands to increase the chances voters approve Amendment 4 in November.

“I do think with these two decisions coming at the same time, it effectively draws a bright line in the sand for voters,” said Driskell. “The Republican messaging suggests to me that they are afraid because they’re spreading lies about this ballot initiative and what it would do,” said Driskell.

In the meantime, providers and patients like those at A Woman’s Choice are staring down a minimum of six months under one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the country.

“It’s just really frustrating that this is the place where we’ve gotten to. To like the worst-case scenario before potentially we could reverse it. It’s just so many lives that are impacted,” said Gavin.

Gavin noted not only was this Jacksonville clinic on the front lines collecting petitions for Amendment 4, but it also plans to play a roll in educating voters on the Amendment and encouraging them to vote yes on Election Day.

[SIGN UP: Action News Jax Daily Headlines Newsletter]

Click here to download the free Action News Jax news and weather apps, click here to download the Action News Jax Now app for your smart TV and click here to stream Action News Jax live.

mobile apps

Everything you love about wokv.com and more! Tap on any of the buttons below to download our app.

amazon alexa

Enable our Skill today to listen live at home on your Alexa Devices!