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Abortion access is topic of Tuesday forum with Jacksonville doctors

With the Supreme Court removing federal protections for abortions and leaving it up to the states, local doctors believe it could ultimately be decided in the fall.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Florida's new 15-week ban on abortions was the topic of a larger discussion Tuesday night during a forum with Jacksonville doctors.

The conversation comes after Roe v Wade was overturned this summer. 

"Abortion is on the ballot in November," said Dr. Jennifer Cowart.

Abortion is a controversial topic and with the Supreme Court removing federal protections and leaving it up to the states, local doctors believe it could ultimately be decided in the state in the fall.

"Women have a sense of fear about the future," explained Dr. Nancy Staats

Tuesday's Zoom discussion highlighted the potential impact the state's 15-week ban could have on abortions with Dr. Staci Tanouye, an OBGYN, explaining, "abortion bans and abortion restrictions will not decrease abortion numbers."

According to the group, 91% of abortions nationally happen within the first 13 weeks, which is legal in Florida.

Data from Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration shows more than 90% of the more than 43,000 abortions that have happened in Florida so far this year occurred during the first trimester. 

"Making something illegal or the threat of making it illegal can sometimes push people to do things that could result in tragic results, and we definitely want to stop that," said Dr. Staats. 

Pro-life supporters are urging for an outright abortion ban.  

The founder of Florida's Voice for the Unborn tells First Coast News his agency, "believes the free state of Florida cannot be truly free until it's totally abortion free!"

RELATED: 'Chaos' at Jacksonville abortion clinic is result of police 'collusion with protesters,' clinic claims

RELATED: Georgia says unborn children can now be claimed under income tax exemption

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