Legal /

Florida's 15-Week Abortion Ban Reinstated

A circuit court judge's block of the ban was suspended by an appeal filed by the state's attorney general

A ban on abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy has been reinstated after Florida appealed a previous ruling from a state court judge.

The appeal triggered an automatic suspension of Leon County Circuit Court Judge John Cooper’s decision. Cooper granted a temporary stay of the ban after ruling the state constitution explicitly protects privacy and that the Florida Supreme Court has previously granted protections for abortions.

“The right to privacy under the Florida Constitution is ‘much broader in scope’ than any privacy right under the United States Constitution,” wrote Cooper in his decision.

“The judge also pointed to evidence that most abortions carried out because of fetal abnormalities took place in the second trimester,” reports Fox News. “He argued that for a variety of reasons such as poverty, late diagnosis, addiction, and abuse, many of the women who got abortions in their second trimester in 2021 would not have been able to do so before 15 weeks.”

The appeal was filed by Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody on July 5.

The initial lawsuit was filed by pro-abortion advocates including The Center for Reproductive Rights, American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU of Florida, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

“The law, which has been in effect since July 1, has already had devastating consequences on the health and futures of Floridians by forcing them to continue carrying pregnancies against their will,” the Center for Reproductive Rights said in a statement. The impacts of allowing this ban to remain in effect will fall hardest on people of color, those trying to make ends meet, immigrants, young people, and vulnerable populations like survivors of intimate partner violence.”

Governor Ron DeSantis signed the ban, House Bill 5, into law in April.

“We are here today to protect life. We are here today to defend those who can’t defend themselves,” DeSantis said during an appearance at a church in Kissimmee.

According to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 2019, Florida has the third-highest abortion rate in the country. New York and Illinois had the highest abortion rates of any states in the nation and fell just behind the District of Columbia.

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