At a Christian event on Monday, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis defended signing the heartbeat bill protecting babies from abortions. DeSantis, who is expected to launch a presidential campaign soon, signed the Heartbeat Protection Act on April 13 to protect babies with beating hearts from abortions.
Speaking at the National Religious Broadcasters (NRB) convention in Orlando, Florida, Desantis said,”One of the things I’m most proud of is that the state of Florida stands unequivocally in defense of the family and in defense of our children and we have done more to protect children than any state in the country.”
“Just a few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to sign the heartbeat bill which is the strongest pro-life bill Florida has seen in its modern history. We got it done,” the governor added. “When we are acting to protect an unborn child that has a detectable heartbeat, that is humane, that is not harsh – that is the right thing to do.”
Over the weekend, DeSantis spoke during the Florida Family Policy Council dinner gala and defended the pro-life law there as well.
“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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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.