DeSantis vows Florida will expand limits on abortion after court ruling
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has vowed that his state will work to expand its abortion restrictions after the Supreme Court on Friday upended the landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
“Florida will continue to defend its recently-enacted pro-life reforms against state court challenges, will work to expand pro-life protections and will stand for life by promoting adoption, foster care and child welfare,” DeSantis said in a statement.
Abortion currently is legal in Florida up to 24 weeks of pregnancy, but a new law set to take effect next week will restrict abortions at 15 weeks, with no exceptions for rape or incest. The state has the third-highest rate of abortion in the country.
“By properly interpreting the Constitution, the Supreme Court has answered the prayers of millions upon millions of Americans,” DeSantis said.
DeSantis, who is currently running for reelection as governor, is seen as a potential candidate for the GOP’s nomination for president in 2024 as his national profile has grown. Recent polls have suggested that he could be a formidable challenger to former President Trump, who hasn’t said whether he’ll make a third run for president in 2024.
Trump and former Vice President Mike Pence, who has been making trips in recent weeks to early primary states, suggesting he too is considering a 2024 run, both also praised the Supreme Court’s decision.
Rather than strictly ruling on the case before them, which dealt with a 15-week abortion ban in Mississippi, the Supreme Court’s conservative majority specifically said that it was overriding previous rulings that had ensured abortion access across the country.
“We hold that Roe and [Planned Parenthood v. Casey] must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision,” Justice Samuel Alito wrote for the majority. “This Court cannot bring about the permanent resolution of a rancorous national controversy simply by dictating a settlement and telling the people to move on.”
The Florida Supreme Court has ruled in the past that the state’s constitutional privacy amendment protects abortion rights there beyond federal law. That could ultimately be upended through further court action in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision, though. Republicans hold control of both chambers of the Florida Legislature.