A Florida judge blocked a 15-week abortion ban on Thursday to take effect on Friday.
The 15-week abortion restriction has been extremely controversial, with no exceptions for pregnancies caused by rape, incest or human trafficking. This only allowed exceptions if the mother was at risk of serious injury or death or if the fetus had a fatal abnormality. The law made it a crime to give an abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy and threatened doctors with a five-year prison sentence and a $ 10,000 fine.
Florida health care providers filed the lawsuit on June 1, arguing that the law violates Florida’s state constitution. Several organizations supporting abortion rights, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Florida ACLU, the Center for Reproductive Rights and Planned Parenthood, have filed the case.
The ban on its own would have had devastating consequences for abortion care in the Southeast, but it would probably have been worse given the Supreme Court’s decision Friday to Roe v. Wade to overthrow.
The ban was speeded up in the Florida Legislature after state Sen. Kelli Stargel and state Rep. Erin Grall, both Republicans, proposed companion measures SB 146 and HB 5 in January. The bills were quietly enacted into law to review the state’s Program to prevent tobacco education and prevention.
“We are here today to protect life. We are here today to defend those who cannot defend themselves, ”Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said during the signing of the bill in April.
Under current law, Florida allows abortions through the first trimester or up to 24 weeks. The restriction is based on a 15-week abortion ban passed in Mississippi in 2018, which was at the center of the Supreme Court case that was the driving force behind Roe’s fall.