TALLAHASSEE — Abortions will be illegal in Florida if a doctor determines that the fetus could survive outside the womb.
Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Friday that redefines that state’s current third trimester abortion ban.
Current law prohibits abortions after 24 weeks of pregnancy unless the mother’s life is at risk. The new law will require woman to have a doctor determine whether a fetus is viable before having an abortion.
The law takes effect July 1. It keeps an exception if a mother’s life is at risk or to prevent irreversible physical impairment of a mother’s major bodily function.
The measure was partly driven by the Tampa case involving John Andrew Welden, the son of an obstetrician, who admitted tricked his ex-girlfriend Remee Lee into having an abortion by forging a prescription for an abortion drug, scraping identifying marks off the pills, then telling her they were an antibiotic.
Lee, who was six or seven weeks pregnant, took one pill. The next day, her unborn baby no longer had a heartbeat.
Welden was sentenced in January to nearly 14 years in prison after pleading guilty to a federal drug tampering charge.