In a huge win for the pro-abortion lobby, a Florida judge has blocked the state’s 15-week abortion ban less than a day before it was supposed to take effect.
Florida’s legislation was modeled after the 15-week abortion ban that was appealed up to the United States Supreme Court and resulted in the overturning of Roe v. Wade.
Less than a week after the landmark Court decision, Leon County Judge John Cooper issued a temporary restraining order, citing the right to privacy enumerated in Florida’s state constitution. The block on Florida’s law won’t take effect until a written order is issued, which is expected by next Tuesday.
“This order complies with the present state of the law in Florida,” Cooper said.
He referenced last week’s Supreme Court abortion ruling, saying that the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case indicated that “these decisions are to be made at the state level instead of the federal level. That’s what this proceeding is about.”
The office of Florida Governor Ron Desantis said, “While we are disappointed with today’s ruling, we know that the pro-life HB 5 will ultimately withstand all legal challenges.”
The statement added, “We reject this interpretation because the Florida Constitution does not include – and has never included – a right to kill an innocent unborn child.”
Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) brought the legal challenge in early June, arguing that Florida’s 15-week ban violated the state’s constitution.
“The legislature passed House Bill 5, a law that criminalizes pre-viability abortions in direct violation of Floridians’ fundamental privacy rights guaranteed by the Florida Constitution,” the court filing states. “HB 5 radically curtails the ability of Floridians to make decisions about whether or not to continue a pregnancy and have a child, in violation of their rights under the Florida Constitution.”
“Specifically, HB 5 criminalizes the provision of abortion care after fifteen weeks as dated from the first day of a woman’s last menstrual period (“LMP”),” the abortion advocates wrote in the court filing. “That timing is early in the second trimester and months prior to both fetal viability and the current limit under Florida law.”
Abortion providers sought an injunction before HB 5 took effect (July 1), citing irreparable harm for which there is no adequate legal remedy.
Gov. Desantis’s office said they will appeal today’s ruling and ask the state Supreme Court to reverse its precedent regarding the state’s right to privacy.