House Bill 5 makes abortion illegal in Florida after the 15th week of pregnancy.
The 15-week abortion ban that Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law in April 2022 is being challenged in Court, and the Florida Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case.
Florida’s constitution protects the right to have an abortion transparently. Also, because of this, groups like Planned Parenthood and the ACLU went to Court to overturn the ban. It was asked for a temporary restraining order to stop the state from enforcing it, but the Court said no.
HB 5, also called the Reducing Fetal and Infant Mortality Act will stay in place while the case is being heard.
Under HB 5, a woman can no longer get an abortion after the 15th week of her pregnancy. Representative DeSantis said the bill “protects kids in the womb who have beating hearts, who can move, who can taste, who can see, and who can feel pain.”
People who support abortion rights believe in many different things. These groups have said that restrictions on abortion are “dangerous” and “an attack on women’s dignity and bodily autonomy.”
Whitney White, an attorney for the ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project, says, “We are happy that the court did not shut down, but we are worried that it has let this terrible restriction stay in place and hurt people every day until this case is finally decided.”
Since it was enacted in July, the state’s new ban on abortions after 15 weeks has had far-reaching and terrible effects. White is sure that the Supreme Court will quickly overturn the restriction because it has been done before for forty years and many people want it to happen. “Women and other people who need abortion services have had to leave the state for more than seven months to get the care they need or go through the pain of an unwanted pregnancy that the law forces them to have.
Today’s decision was a much-needed break from Gov. DeSantis’ strict rules for Floridians.
The case was heard by former Leon County Circuit Court Judge John Cooper, who sided with the plaintiffs. Cooper says that the “right to privacy” in the Florida Constitution is “much broader” than the right to privacy in the United States Constitution. He also found that the state did not care much about defending laws that would make abortions illegal after the first 15 weeks. If the mother’s life is in danger immediately, the law lets the abortion happen. However, the judge found that even in these situations, “letting the pregnancy go to term can have serious and long-lasting effects on the patient, her family, and the baby.”
Cooper said that women who find out they are pregnant out of the blue “need time to make the right decisions for themselves and their families.” Talking to people you trust, like family and friends, and professionals, like clergy and social workers, is very important.
Even though Cooper’s decision was correct, Florida filed an appeal, and the 15-week ban is now in place.
The plaintiffs asked the Florida Supreme Court for another injunction, but the Court said no by a vote of 4-1.
The Court’s decision on whether or not to hold a hearing will be made public at a later time.
“Governor DeSantis is right when he says that the whole is more than the sum of its parts. Planned Parenthood has asked the Florida Supreme Court twice to stop the law from going into effect, but the Court has said no both times. Also, the Court has agreed to hear the case and set up a short schedule for filing. As a country, we have decided to put more emphasis on laws that protect and support human life.” As Bryan Griffin, a spokesman for DeSantis said.
Griffin said, “We support all the rights in the Declaration of Independence, including the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” In particular, this was a response to Vice President Kamala Harris, who, on the 50th anniversary of the overturned Roe v. Wade decision, gave a speech in Tallahassee calling for abortion rights without talking about the right to life.
However, even though the Florida Supreme Court has already said that people have the right to abortion, DeSantis still thinks HB 5 will be upheld. Progressive groups are worried that the new conservative judges he chose could make it harder to get an abortion by changing how the state constitution protects privacy.
Some Republican state legislators want to put more limits on abortions during the 2023 session, according to reports. DeSantis talked to the press early in November about the upcoming legislative session, which would start in December. “I would sign into law significant legislation that supports life. I have been saying that I will do this for a long time.