Ron DeSantis Defends Signing Heartbeat Bill Protecting Babies From Abortion: “Everybody Counts”

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 22, 2023   |   8:53AM   |   Washington, DC

Over the weekend, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis defended signing the heartbeat bill protecting babies from abortions. DeSantis spoke during the Florida Family Policy Council dinner gala in Orlando and he said he was proud to sign the law that bans abortions at 6 weeks, protecting the lives of babies with beating hearts.

“We believe that everybody counts, everybody is special. And our Heartbeat Protection Act shows that we say what we mean and we mean what we say,” DeSantis said.

The governor and likely presidential candidate called the pro-life law “a landmark piece of legislation for the state.” But DeSantis recognizes “there’s much more to do” to protect babies from abortion in Florida and nationwide.

Last week DeSantis also said he was proud to sign the pro-life bill.

“Protecting an unborn child when there’s the detectable heartbeat is something that almost, probably, 99% of pro lifers support,” DeSantis said. “I signed the bill. I was proud to do it. He won’t answer whether he would sign it or not.”

“It’s something that other states like Iowa under Governor Kim Reynolds have enacted,” he added.

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That response mirrors what DeSantis said when he signed the bill.

“We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida,” DeSantis said at the time he signed the law. “I applaud the Legislature for passing the Heartbeat Protection Act that expands pro-life protections and provides additional resources for young mothers and families.”

The law would save tens of thousands of lives annually and provide $25 million in aid to women and families.

DeSantis is expected to make his presidential bid official as soon as this week. The Florida governor has been expected to make this announcement for months and, now that the Florida legislative session is over, DeSantis is apparently ready to dive into the presidential race.

DeSantis is expected to file Federal Election Commission paperwork declaring his candidacy this Thursday to coincide with a donor meeting in Miami.

After that, a more formal announcement is expected the week following. Here’s more on what’s ahead:

In early March, Ken Cuccinelli, who previously served as the acting deputy secretary of Homeland Security under Trump, announced the launch of the Never Back Down PAC to urge DeSantis to run for president. The PAC has raised millions of dollars and may soon receive more than $80 million from a state committee DeSantis recently gave up control of, according to the report.

Earlier reporting also indicated DeSantis is very close to launching a bid after his political operation began moving out of its Tallahassee offices and into a new location on Monday, according to CNBC. The move will likely cost more than $5,000, which would trigger a 15-day countdown for the team to file a Statement of Candidacy with the Federal Election Commission.

That same day, DeSantis’s press secretary, Bryan Griffin, announced his exit from the governor’s office to “pursue other avenues of helping to deliver the governor’s success to our country.”

It had widely been rumored that DeSantis would enter the race at the conclusion of Florida’s legislative session this month — a wildly successful session that included the creation of the largest school-choice program in the country, a ban on abortion after six weeks of pregnancy, a ban on DEI (diversity, equity, and inclusion) initiatives in universities, and an expansion of the use of mandatory E-Verify in the state, all while cutting taxes by $2 billion.

DeSantis has pleased pro-life advocates over the years – first with his 100% pro-life voting record as a member of Congress and then signing multiple pro-life bills as governor. Last year DeSantis signed a bill to ban abortions after 15 weeks. That measure came before the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade and DeSantis signed a followup bill this year to protect babies from abortions when their hearts begin beating. And he recently signed a bill protecting doctors and nurses from being force to participate in abortions.