Florida Supreme Court Upholds 6-Week Abortion Ban

The Florida Supreme Court ruled Monday that abortion is not a protected right in the state’s constitution and allowed a six-week abortion ban to take effect.

Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit against the state in June 2022, arguing Florida’s law barring abortions after 15 weeks violated Florida’s Privacy Clause, which states that everyone has the “right to be let alone and free from governmental intrusion into the person’s private life” and “would prohibit them from obtaining essential medical care.” The state’s Supreme Court determined, however, that a previous decision preventing the law from going into effect while the lawsuit went through the courts was an error.

“The trial court granted a temporary, finding that Planned Parenthood would likely succeed in its constitutional challenge,” the majority opinion reads. “Our holding, however, displaces the doctrinal justification for the trial court’s decision. Planned Parenthood cannot demonstrate a likelihood of success on the merits of its claim, which alleged that the newly enacted statute was facially invalid under the Privacy Clause of the Florida Constitution.”

As a result of the court’s decision, a new law lowering the threshold from 15 weeks to the sixth week of pregnancy will now go into effect due to the heartbeat ban being contingent on the court’s decision, according to The Washington Post.

The six-week law, which was signed by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis in April 2023, provides limited exceptions for cases where the mother conceived from rape, incest or human trafficking, in which case is allowed at 15 weeks gestation. The six-week ban also allows an exception if the life of the mother is threatened.

Abortion was also the subject of another Florida Supreme Court opinion released Monday. The justices ruled that an abortion amendment, which would enshrine the procedure as a right in the state’s constitution, would be set before voters on the ballot in November.

 


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