Abortion laws vary from state to state. It is due to the differences in regulations regarding when it can be legally performed and whether a specific condition is present for it to be legal. As it is a sensitive procedure, there must be stringent measures in place for it not to be abused by anyone.
The legality of abortion follows a general pattern in the United States. Abortion is generally considered legal in the United States if it meets specific criteria. Most states mandate that abortion should be carried out in a hospital by a licensed doctor. It’s also permitted only up to a certain gestation period. After which, it’s illegal unless a person’s life is at risk. An individual can also terminate a pregnancy that resulted from incest and rape. In the case of a minor, parents should be notified and consent.
Is Abortion Legal In Florida?
Abortion is legal in Florida. Florida’s laws permit abortions of up to 24 weeks of gestation. After the state’s legal abortion limit, you must give a good reason why you need it. After 24 weeks, you can only be exempt if the pregnancy poses a life risk.
Types Of Abortions Permitted
Legal abortion can be separated into two categories: medical abortion and surgical abortion. The best option for a patient depends on the age of the pregnancy. Let’s get to know them one by one.
- Medical Abortion
It is the administration of medications that terminates a pregnancy. It is a non-surgical procedure. This option can be prescribed even in states where surgical abortion is restricted.
This option is available for anyone who’s nine weeks and below. The doctor will perform an initial examination after confirming that you are not more than nine weeks pregnant. In that case, you will take an abortion pill to terminate the pregnancy. Only a doctor can prescribe abortion medicines. As such, the pill is unavailable over the counter.
- Surgical Abortion
It is a surgical procedure that is performed to terminate a pregnancy. Also referred to as ‘in-clinic abortion,’ it’s only available at licensed abortion clinics.
If you are 10 weeks pregnant or more, a surgical abortion may be available. This option uses medical tools and an invasive surgical procedure to terminate the pregnancy.
Legal Requirements To Have An Abortion In Florida
Consent of the pregnant person: To have an abortion, the pregnant person must give their consent, or permission, to have the procedure done. They must be at least 16 years old to undergo an abortion. They must also have consent from your parent(s) or guardian.
Good Health: To have an abortion, the pregnant person must not have any health issues that could put their life at risk. Depending on the person’s specific situation, they may have to get a doctor’s note to confirm this.
Legal standing: To have an abortion, the pregnant person must be legally able to consent to the procedure. This means anyone under 18 must have a parent or guardian’s permission to have an abortion.
Anyone who has been sexually abused also has legal standing to get an abortion without their parent or guardian’s permission.
Restrictions On Abortion
Abortion in Florida is a legal, medical procedure. The laws regulating abortion in Florida can be divided into two categories: those that restrict abortion and those that do not. The state’s restrictions fall into two main categories.
The first type of restriction prohibits abortions performed by doctors not licensed by the state. This means that if your doctor offers these services but does not have a medical license in the state. In that case, you may need to travel out of state for an abortion.
It’s also illegal for a person to attempt an abortion on another person without their consent or permission.
The second type of restriction bans abortions performed at 24 weeks or beyond (with rare exceptions). It means that if you are pregnant beyond this cut-off point, you cannot have an abortion. Unless terminating the pregnancy is the only way they can save your life.
Plus, if an abortion is needed to prevent permanent injury or disability. These include severe brain damage or a damaged fetus that will die if born alive.
Some restrictions were imposed after the new laws took effect on 1st July 2022. These include;
- Abortion is allowed in Florida after 24 weeks of gestation if the continuation of pregnancy endangers the woman’s life.
- Suppose an individual wants to have an abortion because her life is endangered by keeping her pregnancy. In that case, she must notify her doctor within 24 hours. That is after receiving such notification from another physician or facility that performs abortions.
- A state health plan can only cover abortion costs in cases rape, life endangerment, and incest. But an individual can buy an optional rider at an extra cost.
- Abortion is also legal if the pregnancy results from sexual assault. However, the patient must undergo counseling before the procedure. After the counseling, they must wait for at least 24 hours before having an abortion.
- Suppose a woman is a victim of domestic violence. And also, one who is under 18 years old. In that case, abortion may be performed if there is a threat to their physical health, mental health, or both.
- For a minor to have an abortion, their parents must be notified. They must also give consent to the same.
- Before having an abortion, the woman must have an ultrasound scan done. She must also be given the option of viewing the ultrasound image.
- Public funding for abortion is available if the pregnancy results from assault or incest. And also, if it poses serious life risks.
Availability Of Abortion Service
Abortion is most commonly performed in abortion clinics. And it can be done in both surgical and medical ways. When choosing a place to get an abortion, you should ensure the location is safe and reputable.
Free or low-cost abortions: In Florida, you can get a free or low-cost abortion at any one of the state’s public health clinics. The Florida Department of Health (FDH) provides information on where to find these clinics and other available services.
Private abortion clinics: Private abortion clinics exist in Florida. They operate like any other healthcare provider. You can find information about the clinics and the services they offer through your health insurance provider.
Several factors determine the legality of abortion in Florida. These include the pregnancy stage, the method used, and the reasons for having the abortion. Abortion is legal in Florida if it is performed before 24 weeks. A few restrictions further regulate when it is still legal. For example, Florida requires that a licensed medical provider perform an abortion. In this case, if an unlicensed person performs an abortion, it can be considered illegal.