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Abortion guidelines change Tuesday under new Florida law


Protesters stand outside of an abortion clinic on Monday, before the law changes Tuesday. The new law states that a doctor must declare a fetus unviable outside of the womb.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Abortion clinics, like one Action News visited on the Southside, were operating as normal on Monday. As usual, protesters were outside.  But state law is changing, causing changes Tuesday. 

Despite the heat, protesters outside local family clinics are out in force and claiming victory. Before any woman could terminate a pregnancy in Florida, beginning Tuesday, the state will require women have a doctor determine whether a fetus is unviable before permitting an abortion. 

"It isn't a blob of tissue. It's a baby with a heartbeat and brainwaves. That far along can survive on its own," said Brad Straley of Jacksonville For Life. 

Straley said he's pleased with the new law signed by Gov. Rick Scott.  But aborting fetuses more than 24 weeks old was already against the law; not far enough though for abortion opponents. 

"A coworker of mine had a grandson at 23 weeks. And he's as healthy as a horse," Straley said.

Starting Tuesday, a woman in her first two trimesters of pregnancy must also now have a doctor determine the fetus could not survive outside the womb. The new law retains exceptions if a mother's life or physical well-being are in danger. 

The National Organization of Woman spokesperson said that organization is not planning legal action but expects parents to take this to court.