Judge to temporarily block Florida’s 15-week abortion ban
A judge on Thursday was set to temporarily block Florida’s 15-week abortion ban one day before it was set to go into effect.
The law, which is not a “trigger law” like other states have set up to take immediate effect upon Roe v. Wade’s reversal, is modeled after Mississippi’s own 15-week abortion ban that was heard in front of the Supreme Court and ultimately led to the decision in Roe being overturned.
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), one of the plaintiffs in the complaint against Florida, confirmed to The Hill that Leon County Circuit Judge John C. Cooper will be issuing a block on the abortion ban following a hearing on Thursday.
The Florida law, signed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in April, bans all abortions past 15 weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest.
Under the law, exceptions can only be made when two physicians put in writing that an abortion is necessary to prevent death or severe physical harm to the mother, explicitly excluding potential harm to a woman’s psychological condition from that exception.
The ACLU noted in a statement that the ban will likely go into effect for a short period while the circuit court prepares its written order.
In the original complaint, the plaintiffs, including Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, argued that abortions were protected under the Florida Constitution and its guarantee to privacy. They further argued that the Florida Supreme Court had reaffirmed this right to privacy in regards to the decision to end a pregnancy on multiple occasions.
The complaint noted that Floridians had voted in 1980 to amend the state’s constitution specifically to include broad protections of privacy. In 2012, Floridians voted to reject an amendment that would have dismantled those protections.
“As the Florida Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized, the Florida constitution protects the right to abortion. The court has rightfully stood by that precedent today,” Caroline Sacerdote, staff attorney for the Center for Reproductive Rights, said in a statement.
In other lawsuits across the country, abortion rights organizations have made similar arguments to preserve abortion access, pointing to state constitutions that guarantee a right to privacy. These suits have led to similar temporarily blocks on abortion bans in states like Louisiana, Texas and Utah.