The Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments challenging Florida’s 15-week abortion ban.
Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, and a group of other abortion providers are challenging the ban, arguing that the Florida state constitution protects the right to an abortion. The ban has been allowed to stay in place while the court determines its legality, Politico reports.
“While we are pleased that the court didn’t shut its doors completely, we are dismayed that it has allowed this dangerous ban to remain in effect and to harm real people each and every day until this case is finally decided,” staff attorney for the ACLU’s Reproductive Freedom Project Whitney White said. “We hope that the court acts quickly and follows 40 years of precedent and the will of the people to stop this unconstitutional 15-week abortion ban, which has caused chaos and devastation in the state since going into effect in July.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis approved the law in April 2022 before it went into effect in July. A Leon County judge then ordered that the ban will be temporarily stopped while it is challenged, but the state appealed, and the law went back into effect.
This week, justices denied blocking the law again but agreed to hear arguments on the case.
The 15-week ban provides no exceptions for victims of rape and incest. Under Florida law, those who violate the policy can receive up to five years in prison. Physicians and other medical professionals who violate the law are subject to fines of $10,000 per violation and could lose their licenses.
Florida lawmakers are expected to discuss further abortion legislation during their 2023 legislative session, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples) has said she would support a state law to move the ban to 12 weeks with exceptions of rape and incest.
According to testimony, about 96.4 percent of abortions in Florida in 2019 occurred before the 13th week of pregnancy.
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Amanda Casanova is a writer living in Dallas, Texas. She has covered news for ChristianHeadlines.com since 2014. She has also contributed to The Houston Chronicle, U.S. News and World Report and IBelieve.com. She blogs at The Migraine Runner.